Transport Vehicle Tax
The tax treatment of transport vehicles is regulated in Articles 52 to 61 of the Local Taxes and Fees Act.
Scope of taxation
Transport vehicle tax is levied on any transport vehicle 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 aircrafts of the Republic of Bulgaria.
The taxable persons are the owners of the transport vehicles (natural or legal persons).
The Municipal Council determines the amount of tax due for each type of transport vehicle by the ordinance referred to in Article 1 (2) of the Local Taxes and Fees Act:
- passenger cars and trucks with a permissible maximum weight lower than 3.5 tons – the tax is set through a formula which contains a property and an ecological component. The property component is determined by the engine power, adjusted by a ratio depending on the year of manufacture. The ecological component is determined by the ecological category of the vehicle;
- passenger car trailers - per item;
- mopeds (per item) and motorcycles (per item, depending on the engine displacement);
- Three-wheel vehicles as set out in Article 4 of Regulation (EU) 168/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 January 2013 on the approval and market surveillance of two- or three-wheel vehicles and quadricycles (OJ, L 60/52, 2 March 2013) - per item, based on overall weight;
- buses - per item, depending on the number of seats;
- cargo trucks with a weight between 3.5 and 12 tons - per each 750 kg of load-carrying capacity;
- 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 and other special-purpose automobiles excluding trolleybuses - per item;
- crane trucks of load-carrying capacity exceeding 40 tons - per item;
- tractors - per item, depending on the engine power;
- other self-propelled vehicles - per item;
- motor sleds and four-wheel transport vehicles set out in Article 4 of Regulation (EU) 168/2013 - per item;
- cargo trucks with permissible maximum weight exceeding 12 tons - 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, depending on the register in which they have been registered;
- jets - per item;
- yachts and motor cruisers - per gross ton;
- 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;
- para gliders - per item;
- hang gliders - per item;
- powered gliders - per item;
- free balloons - per item;
- gliders - per item.
The following transport vehicles are exempt from transport vehicle tax:
- any transport vehicles owned by state and municipal bodies and public-financed organizations, which enjoy special traffic privileges, ambulances and fire trucks owned by other persons, as well as vehicles of the State Agency for Technical Operations used for performance of its activities as stipulated by law;
- any transport vehicles owned by diplomatic missions and consulates, on a basis of reciprocity;
- the transport vehicles of the Bulgarian Red Cross, when used for the purposes of the organization;
- electric cars, motorcycles and mopeds as well as electric-powered vehicles of categories L5е, L6е and L7е set out in Article 4 of Regulation (EU) 168/2013;
- any passenger cars owned by persons who have lost between 50 and 100 per cent of their working capacity, with engine capacity not exceeding 2,000 ccm and with engine power not exceeding 117.64 kW;
- any deregistered transport vehicles (no tax is due as from the month following 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).
The following tax relieves are provided:
- for mopeds and motorcycles with engine power of 74 kW and less and conforming to an Euro 4 category – 20% off the tax due;
- for mopeds and motorcycles with engine power of 74 kW and less and conforming to a category higher than Euro 4 – 60% off the tax due;
- a rebate of 20 per cent shall apply to the tax due on buses, cargo trucks, trailer tractors and truck tractors equipped with engines conforming to the Euro 4 environmental category;
- a rebate of 50 per cent shall apply to the tax due on buses, cargo trucks, trailer tractors and truck tractors equipped with engines conforming to environmental categories Euro V, Euro VI and EEV;
- a rebate of 90 per cent applies to the amount of tax due on 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.
Where no data about the ecological category of the vehicle is available in the Registry of Road Vehicles maintained by the Ministry of Internal Affairs it is assumed that the vehicle has no ecological category.
Time limits for submission of tax returns
According to the provision of Article 54 of the Local Taxes and Fees Act an employee of the municipality determines the amount of tax due on the basis of the Registry of Road Vehicles maintained by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and informs the owner of the vehicle.
Where the vehicle is inherited or is owned by more than one person, or the owner or owners have no permanent address in the country, or the vehicle can be exempted from tax, the owners of transport vehicles must declare the information about the transport vehicles they own to the municipality exercising competence over their permanent address or registered office within two months after the acquisition of any such vehicles. In respect of any transport vehicles which have not been registered for operation in Bulgaria, the two-month time limit begins to run from the date of registration of any such vehicles.
Where the owners of transport vehicles do not have a permanent address or a registered office within the territory of Bulgaria, declarations must be submitted to the municipality exercising competence over the place of registration of the transport vehicle.
Upon submission of the declaration, the owner is required to present documentary proof of tax paid upon the acquisition of the transport vehicle, in case this information is not already available in the municipality.
The transport vehicle tax is payable in two equal installments within the following periods:
- till 30 June, and
- not later than 31 October of the year for which the tax is due.
Any taxpayer, who prepays the amount of tax due for the whole year till 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:
1/ a check via automatic exchange of information between the information system for the electronic registration of periodic inspections of road vehicles maintained by the Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications and:
- the information exchange system maintained by the Ministry of Finance, pursuant to Art. 5a, or
- the respective system for administration of local taxes and fees of the municipality, or
2/ presentation of a document issued 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 of the owner, and in the cases where the owners of transport vehicles have no permanent address or registered office within the territory of Bulgaria, in revenue to the budget of the municipality where the transport vehicle has been registered.
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.
In accordance with the provisions of Article 4 (2) of the Local Taxes and Fees Act, any delinquent taxes shall be collected with interest under the Interest on Taxes, Fees and Other Such State Receivables Act.
For any failure to comply with the provisions of the Local Taxes and Fees Act in respect of the transport vehicle tax, the offenders shall be liable to a fine of 20 to 200 BGN or in the case of legal persons or sole proprietors the pecuniary penalty is in the range of 100 to 500 BGN (Article 127(1)).
According to the provision of Article 127 (2) of the Local Taxes and Fees Act, default on payment of the transport vehicle tax is not treated as an administrative violation.