Bulgaria: VAT refund

VAT refund. Taxable persons established in another EU member state may claim a refund of the Bulgarian VAT paid in 2011 by 30 September 2012. Taxable persons established outside the EU may seek reimbursement by 30 June 2012.

Commercial register: As of 1 January 2012, the fees for electronic registration were reduced to 50% of the regular fees. In future joint-stock companies must submit their applications to the Commercial Register electronically.

After 1 January 2012, free access to the Commercial Register’s database will be limited to publicly available information such as company names, companies’ representatives and registered capital. Full access will be granted only to registered users.

Labor Code. Amendments to the labor Code were officially approved by Parliament and published in the State Gazette. The most important amendments refer to temporary work agencies.

Under the new rules, only 30% of a company’s personnel may be employed through a temporary work agency. The agency must undergo a special registration procedure with the National Employment Agency and maintain a group insurance or a bank guarantee of at least BGN 200,000 in order to secure their liability towards the employees.

Employees cannot be held responsible for breaches of labor rules. However, the Labor Inspection can impose fines on any employee working without an official employment contract. Employees returning from pregnancy or maternity leave and/or on leave of absence for raising a child can negotiate with their employers’ flexible working hours for a certain period of time.

The number of company representatives in national trade unions and employers’ organizations has been increased.

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