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Law provisions passed at first reading ban offshore companies from participation in privatization transactions and public procurement tenders
20/11/2013
The Offshore Act that had just passed at first reading in parliament regulates the economic and financial relations of the state with companies registered in jurisdictions with preferential tax treatment and prevents offshore companies from participating in privatization transactions and public procurement tenders, in tenders for concessions. These companies will not be able to acquire assets owned by the state or municipalities, will not be granted licenses to establish credit, insurance or gambling institutions, retirement and health insurance funds, mobile, radio and television operators etc.  Movers of the bill are lawmakers from Movement for Rights and Freedoms, Yordan Tsonev and Delian Peevski. Yordan Tsonev explained in the plenary that the prohibitions cover twenty fields of economic activity. The bill bans an entity, registered in a jurisdiction with preferential tax treatment, to create or acquire assets in a publishing house of printed periodicals. The bill envisages measures against aggressive tax planning and avoidance of tax payment. As long as the lawmaker is aware that tax evasion could occur through deals with locally registered natural persons or legal entities, the law covers all transactions that aim to hide taxes. The bill envisages fines of BGN 10 000 to 50 000 for forged documents, for a second offence from BGN 250 000 to 500 000. The restrictions will not apply when the managers of the company could prove it shares are listed on the stock markets of Bulgaria or in another member- state of the European Union. The rules of the new act will not apply to companies licensed as investment funds or such part of economic group which parent company is treated as local person for tax purposes in a country with which Bulgaria has agreement for avoidance of double taxation, or agreement for exchange of information. The ban also does not apply to a company that is part of an economic group, the parent company or the subsidiary of which is a local Bulgarian entity and his real owners, natural persons, are known. The law is to take effect as of 1 January 2014.
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