Restriction to selling property and vehicles
A bill, adding new bureaucracy requirements to selling property, has been voted on first hearing in the Bulgarian Parliament. The amendments to the Health Insurance Act and Tax and Insurance Proceedings Code set a requirement that the seller of a real estate property and/or vehicles needs to present to the notary public a certificate from the National Revenue Agency, proving that all outstanding NHS contributions have been paid. If such certificate is not presented or it contains evidence of unpaid NHS contributions, the notary can refuse to certify the deal.
There has been discussions going on in the parliament on this matter. The opposition said that it is a restriction of private property and promised that they will bring the matter to the Constitutional Court for declaring these articles as unconstitutional.
Why (un)paid health insurance is a problem?
Generally speaking it is not a problem. It’s the additional document that needs to be presented to the notaries upon selling the property which can complicate the procedure. I have two things in mind that surely will become a problem:
- Foreigners are not health insured in Bulgaria, unless they are employed here or they are managers of active trading Bulgarian companies.
- Every foreigner who is health insured in Bulgaria has been granted a state number (not personal number of foreigner, but a special number in NRA systems). This is how NRA identifies foreigners. The other way is through their Bulstat numbers.
Ok, so NRA can use the Bulstat numbers to issue certificates. Fair enough. Many foreigners still don’t have Bulstat numbers since the agents, who sold them the properties didn’t tell them this obligation. If the property has been bough recently, there could be a small fine for missing the deadline. If the period is longer, there might not be a fine.
Complicating the property sale process
It’s understandable that the government what to increase the collection of NHS contribution, but complicating the property sale process is not the way forwards. As a friend of mine pointed out “soon if you don’t have a vignette sticker (road tax), they won’t allow you to sale your house”.
Having in mind the current term for issuing certificates from NRA (e.g. certificate for lack of outstanding taxes), I’d say the property purchase/sale process will be extended with a week or two.