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Annual Company Tax Returns

Anyone who has established a Bulgarian company must make an annual tax declaration. This includes everyone who set up a company just for the purpose of buying land or property here. You may not have sold your property nor done anything else with your company, but by law you still have to make a return.

Companies who do not trade are called inactive and the type of declaration you must submit is a nil declaration. It informs the tax authorities that your company has done no business and that no taxes are due from you.

Admittedly you may have spent thousands doing up your property, but this is irrelevant to the tax authorities unless you have sold it during the tax year.

Bulgarian tax returns covering the financial year January 1 to December 31, must be submitted to the tax office, where your company is registered, no later than March 31st the following year and there are a number of ways that you can submit your return.


Using an accountant

The most obvious route is to go to an accountant, known as a Schetovoditel, armed with all of your company documents and your company stamp and they will fill out the form for you. It is a 10 minute job and you should not pay more than 50 Leva. Ensure that they give you a receipt, called a Faktura, for their work as proof that they have filled in the form. You then have to post the return to your tax office; your accountant should provide you with the address. At the post office ask for a Razpiska, which will prove that you posted your declaration. Once this work is done, do not expect to hear anything from the tax authorities.

There are many stories about people being charged extortionate amounts for nil declarations some as much as 200 euros and many stories of expats willing to pay these sums. You can walk into any accountancy office in Bulgaria and ask, Kolko struva za nil deklaratsia za danuk? This means “how much for a nil tax return?.”
For those people who are not planning to visit the country in time for the tax deadline, then there are accountancy services operating from the UK who offer accountancy services for Bulgaria, but again, their costs are high.

Doing it yourself

Doing it yourself is not as difficult as it seems. Form 51 (Form 92 from 2009 acccounting year), a green form is available from the post office. The forms are in Bulgarian, but taking the time over a coffee with an understanding Bulgarian friend should do the trick. The document is 12 pages long, but for a nil return only pages 1 - 3 have to be filled in with the company name, the full names of company directors, the full name of company, full addresses of both, I.D. numbers and / or passport numbers of the directors, the company’s Bulstat details, and several x’s to denote the fact that you have made no money. Finally you will need to sign and stamp the document on the last page.

Again, once the form is completed you can post it to your tax office. The post office should be able to tell you the correct address. If you have any questions you can visit the National Revenue Agencies website at The site is in English and covers all aspects of Bulgarian taxation. If you are not intending to visit the country in time for the tax deadline, you can call the NRA and ask them to send you the relevant forms which you can fill in at home.

Doing it via the tax office

It is possible to turn up at the tax office where your company is registered and obtain form 51 from there. Many expats have reported that their tax office were happy to fill out the form for them and made nominal charges of 5 Leva to do so. Again ensure that you take all of your company documents with you and that you receive a receipt to prove that you have handed in your form.

The penalties for not declaring

Fines are levied on those who fail to make a tax return. Bear in mind that it is an offence to fail to do this as it is in the UK. Even if your tax form arrives a couple of days later than the March 31st deadline, you will be fined and the fines range from 500 to 3,000 Leva. Generally, for filing late the company will be fined 500 Leva and the director a further 500. You can appeal against fines but lateness for whatever reason will carry no weight.

Active companies

If your company has been active i.e. you have sold land or property or have worked and issued invoices through your company, then you will need to use the services of a qualified accountant as your tax return will involve making a full declaration of your affairs, particularly if your business is VAT registered. In these circumstances you need to present all relevant receipts to offset against your earnings.

Active companies can submit their tax payments in a variety of ways on the 15th day of the next month or by the 31st March of the next calendar year.
Declaring income for other sources.

Non-residents only pay income tax on income arising from Bulgarian sources only, which means income earned in the UK is not applicable unless you are considered becoming resident in Bulgaria. The definition of residency is a person who spends 183 days or more in any tax year (calendar year) in Bulgaria. If you are considered resident here and you have income from other sources, which may not be in your company’s name you will have to file a personal tax return to declare it. The deadline for this is April 15th of the following year. You must declare all earned income in your name regardless of the country it came from.

Remember, whilst this is one of those jobs you would rather put off, it’s far better to bite the bullet and get it done in good time, after all 1,000 Leva fines can be better spent on something for yourself or your home!