Bulgaria to Introduce New Levels of Taxation?

The Bulgarian Finance Minister Simeon Djankov gave advance notice this week that he wants to tax all forms of income having in mind the gambling industry and investors in particular. The levels of taxation though are as yet unspecified but will be similar regardless of its source.

The minister said that he plans to impose taxes on gambling and stock exchange profits, starting as early as January 2013, and his staff is already working on legislative drafts that could be proposed between the two parliamentary readings on the draft 2013 State budget.

In March this year the Bulgarian government approved the regulation and licensing of online gambling in the country proposing a 15 percent tax on operator turnover. It included draconic measures designed to exclude and stamp out unlicensed operators accessing the nation's punters, ISP blocking, and bans on advertising.

Still, when few foreign operators hinted they would seek licensing at those sort of tax levels, the government slashed the proposed tax rate by 50 percent by May 2012.

Djankov has already been criticised for his proposals to impose taxation on all bank deposits and individual transactions, excluding retirement savings. Asked to comment on threats of large-scale public protests over the new tax regime, he replied: "Let them come."

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