Transport Vehicle Tax

The tax treatment of transport vehicles is regulated in Articles 52 to 61 of the Local Taxes and Fees Law.

Scope of taxation

Transport vehicle tax is levied on any transport vehicles registered for operation on the road network in the Republic of Bulgaria, on any ships recorded in the registers of the Bulgarian ports, and on any aircraft recorded in the State register of civil aircraft of the Republic of Bulgaria.

Taxable Persons

The taxable persons are the owners of the transport vehicles (natural or legal persons).

Taxable Amount

The Municipal Council determines the amount of tax for each type of transport vehicle by the ordinance referred to in Article 1 (2) of the Local Taxes and Fees Law:

  • passenger cars - per kW, in conformity with the engine power, adjusted by a coefficient depending on the year of manufacture;
  • passenger car trailers - per item;
  • mopeds (per item) and motorcycles (per item, depending on the cubic content of the engine);
  • tricars - per item, based on overall weight;
  • buses - per item, depending on the number of seats;
  • cargo trucks of up to 12 tonnes - per tonne of load-carrying capacity or fraction;
  • truck tractors and trailer tractors - per item, depending on the permissible maximum weight of the combination of transport vehicles, of the number of axles and the type of suspension of the tractor;
  • special-purpose construction vehicles, crane trucks, special-purpose trailers for transportation of heavyweight or oversize loads and other special-purpose automobiles excluding trolleybuses - per item;
  • crane trucks of load-carrying capacity exceeding 40 tonnes, special-purpose trailers of load-carrying capacity exceeding 40 tonnes for transportation of heavyweight or oversize loads - per item;
  • tractors - per item, depending on the engine power;
  • other self-propelled vehicles - per item;
  • motor sleds and transport vehicles of the L7e category under the Road Traffic Law - per item;
  • cargo trucks of permissible maximum weight exceeding 12 tonnes - per item, depending on the permissible maximum weight of the combination of transport vehicles, of the number of axles and the type of suspension;
  • ships - per gross ton or fraction, depending on the register of registration;
  • jets - per item;
  • yachts and motor cruisers - per gross ton or fraction;
  • scooters - per kW;
  • tug boats and push boats - per kW;
  • river-going non-self propelled navigation vessels - per ton deadweight
  • airplanes - per ton of maximum take-off weight or fraction;
  • para gliders - per item;
  • hang gliders - per item;
  • powered gliders - per item;
  • free balloons - per item;
  • gliders - per item.

Exemptions

The following are exempt from transport vehicle tax:

  • any transport vehicles owned by state and municipal bodies and public-financed organizations, which enjoy special traffic privileges, as well as ambulances and fire trucks owned by other persons;
  • any transport vehicles owned by diplomatic missions and consulates, on a basis of reciprocity;
  • the transport vehicles of the Bulgarian Red Cross, where used for the purposes of that organization;
  • electric cars;
  • any passenger cars owned by persons who have lost between 50 and 100 per cent of their working capacity, of engine capacity not exceeding 2,000 ccm and of engine power not exceeding 117.64 kW;
  • any deregistered transport vehicles (no tax is due as from the month next succeeding the month of deregistration);
  • any end-of-life transport vehicles which are subject to mandatory delivery for dismantling as provided for in a statutory instrument (no tax is due after their deregistration for operation and presentation of a certificate of delivery for dismantling).

Tax reliefs

Provisions are made for tax reliefs for:

  • a rate rebate within a range of 20 to 40 per cent, the specific amount being determined by resolution of the Municipal Council, shall apply to the tax arrived at under Article 55 herein for the respective year on vehicles of engine power not exceeding 74 kW, equipped with operative catalytic converters and not conforming to environmental categories Euro 3, Euro 4, Euro 5, Euro 6 and EEV;
  • aA rate rebate of 50 per cent shall apply to the tax arrived at under Article 55 (1) and (3) herein on vehicles of engine power not exceeding 74 kW and conforming to environmental categories Euro 3 and Euro 4;
  • and a rate rebate of 60 per cent shall apply to the tax so arrived at on such vehicles conforming to environmental categories Euro 5 and Euro 6;
  • a rate rebate of 40 per cent shall apply to the tax arrived at on buses, cargo trucks, trailer tractors and truck tractors equipped with engines conforming to environmental categories Euro III and Euro IV;
  • a rate rebate of 50 per cent shall apply to the tax so arrived at on buses, cargo trucks, trailer tractors and truck tractors equipped with engines conforming to environmental categories Euro V, Euro VI and EEV;
  • buses operated in public carriage of passengers on scheduled bus services in urban settlements and in sparsely populated mountain and border areas, which lines are subsidized by the municipalities, subject to the conditions that these buses are not used for other purposes: a rebate of 90 per cent applies to the amount of tax.

The environmental categories shall be certified by means of presentation of a document showing the conformity of the vehicle to the environmental category assigned by the manufacturer.

Time limits for submission of returns

According to the provision of Article 54 of the Local Taxes and Local Fees Law, the owners of transport vehicles must declare the transport vehicles they own to the municipality exercising competence over their permanent address or registered office, as the case may be, within two months after acquisition of any such vehicles. In respect of any transport vehicles which have not been registered for operation within Bulgaria, the two-month time limit begins to run as from the date of registration of any such vehicles for operation.

Where the owners of transport vehicles do not have a permanent address or a registered office, as the case may be, within the territory of Bulgaria, declarations must be submitted to the municipality exercising competence over the place of registration of the transport vehicle.

The owners of transport vehicles claim their right to exemption from tax or to enjoyment of a tax relief by means of a tax return which must be submitted within two months.

Upon submission of the declaration, the owner is required to present documentary proof of tax paid upon the acquisition of the transport vehicle declared.

Tax Remittance

The transport vehicle tax is payable in two equal instalments within the following periods:

  • from 1 March to 30 June, and
  • not later than 30 October of the year for which the tax is due.

Any taxpayer, who or which prepays the amount of tax due for the whole year from 1 March to 30 April, enjoys a rebate of 5 per cent of the amount of tax due.

Payment of the tax is condition for compliance at the annual roadworthiness inspection of the transport vehicle. Payment of the tax is attested by presentation of a document issue or certified by the municipality.

The tax is credited in revenue to the budget of the municipality exercising competence over the permanent address or the registered office, as the case may be, of the owner who or which submitted the declaration, and where no such declaration has been submitted and in the cases where the owners of transport vehicles have no permanent address or registered office, as the case may be, within the territory of Bulgaria, in revenue to the budget of the municipality where the transport vehicle has been registered.

Tax Administering

The transport vehicle tax is assessed, secured and collected by the municipal administration officers according to the procedure established by the Tax and Social-Insurance Procedure Code.

Sanctions

In accordance with the provisions of Article 4 (2) of the Local Taxes and Fees Law, any delinquent taxes shall be collected with interest under the Interest on Taxes, Fees and Other Such State Receivables Law.

For any failure to comply with the provisions of the Local Taxes and Fees Law in respect of the transport vehicle tax, the offenders shall be liable to a fine of BGN 20 or exceeding this amount but not exceeding BGN 200 (if natural persons) or, if legal persons and sole traders, to a pecuniary penalty of BGN 100 or exceeding this amount but not exceeding BGN 500 (Article 127(1)).

According to the provision of Article 127 (2) of the Local Taxes and Fees Law, default on payment of the transport vehicle tax is not treated as an administrative violation.