An interview with Nikolay Ivanchev, Managing Partner of Business Tax, www.businesstax-bg.com
By SeeNews team
Q: How has the market for tax and accounting services in Bulgaria performed so far in 2011? Are there any notable trends compared with 2010?
A: The tax services market is, as usual, very dynamic, with the local companies trying to find their pace in the first half of 2011. The value of the tax services market is relatively low, amounting to about 15 million euro. The tax business, however, has steadied and, hopefully, can only grow from now on. We are very supportive of this process, trying to stay focused on improving the range of our services and introducing attractive new ones in order to strengthen our leading position on the Bulgarian market.
Q: The SME sector is a bellwether for the health of the economy and if it is doing well it needs more tax advice and bookkeeping expertise. What demand are you seeing for your services among local SMEs?
A: The development of small and medium-sized enterprises is not very different here from that in the EU and the rest of the world. SMEs are very demanding legal entities and require the same amount of time and energy as the large enterprises and multinational corporations. SMEs request more and more from their tax and book-keeping advisors.
Business Tax is highly specialised in preparing SMEs for market entry and avoiding any losses that they may incur due to improper taxation and accounting. Good tax services can easily lead you to very lucrative economic activity and Business Tax can provide all the necessary services. Attracting more SMEs can easily give you a pivotal role in the Bulgarian tax services market.
Q: What does demand for your services among international companies looking to do business in Bulgaria tell you about the progress of the recovery of foreign direct investment inflows?
A: Foreign investments have grown significantly since last year but still fail to fully make up for the capital going out of the country. However, Bulgarian companies are investing more abroad. Considering the global economic situation, Bulgaria can be considered a fast-growing country. The major infrastructure projects which the government has launched are almost entirely funded by foreign investments.
Completing such projects and improving the infrastructure can attract higher level of investments.
Q: Are you developing any new products/ services?
A: The new projects we have developed since last year aim to assist our clients in paying their taxes and fees. We offer a full range of services helping our clients in their relations with the national institutions.
We also managed to improve assistance to customers regarding a wide range of investment projects and customer relations with the financial institutions.
We also offer valuations for tax purposes, assistance in lowering tax risks, mediation in real estate investment, litigation, etc.
Q: Cash-strapped governments around the world are clamping down on tax evasion in order to improve their fiscalstanding. How good is the Bulgarian government at collecting its taxes and do you have any policy recommendations in that respect?
A: In the past year the government launched many campaigns and projects related to tax collection and excise duties.
The collection level has significantly increased due to massive checks and audit reports and now corresponds with the levels of collection in the leading European countries. Entirely new excise duty collection methods were introduced in the fuel industry and health care system.
Q: How has Business Tax grown over the past couple of years? What part of the business has grown most quickly and are there any new areas you plan to focus on in 2011?
A: Business Tax has grown significantly in the past few years.
We managed to attract new local and international customers. At Business Tax we think the need for qualified tax advisors is very high now.
The tax business is very specific – a single mistake can lower profits and disrupt a company’s cash flow. In addition to the accounting services and tax advisory services, we have developed a strong link with a highly specialised law firm and we now successfully consult clients on mergers and acquisitions. We are assisting our client with their investment projects abroad.