Taxes on transport vehicles

The taxation regime of transport vehicles in Bulgaria is regulated in Art. 52-61 of the Local Taxes and Fees Act (LTFA). This tax is levied on legal and natural persons, who own motor vehicles registered for operation on the road network in the Republic of Bulgaria, ships registered in the Bulgarian ports, as well as aircraft recorded in the state register of civil aircraft of the Republic of Bulgaria.

If the owners of transport vehicles have no permanent address within the territory of the country, the declarations are to be submitted to the municipality where the transport vehicle is registered.


Tax exemptions

Owners of transport vehicles can claim their right to tax exemption or tax relief through a tax declaration submitted within two months from the acquisition of the vehicle. For vehicles that are not registered for operation in the country, the two-month time limit starts from the date of registration for operation.

Under Art. 58 LTFA, the following transport vehicles are exempt from taxation:

  • transport vehicles owned by state and municipal bodies and by budget-financed organizations which enjoy special traffic privileges, as well as ambulances and fire trucks;
  • transport vehicles owned by diplomatic missions and consulates, on a basis of reciprocity;
  • transport vehicles owned by the Bulgarian Red Cross, where used for the purposes of the organization;
  • passenger automobiles owned by persons who have lost between 50 and 100% of their working capacity, of an engine capacity not exceeding 2 000 cubic centimeters and engine power not exceeding 117, 64 kW.


Tax reliefs

The following transport vehicles are eligible for tax relief:

  • passenger automobiles of engine power not exceeding 74 kW, equipped with operative catalytic converters, are subject to 50% reduction of the tax due;
  • buses, cargo trucks, trailer tractors and truck tractors equipped with 'eco-engines' are subject to 50% reduction of the tax due;
  • buses carrying passengers under regular bus services in urban settlements and in sparsely populated mountain and border areas, which lines are subsidized by the municipalities, are subject to 10% reduction of the tax due.


The transport vehicle tax

The amount of the transport vehicle tax is determined by the municipal council in compliance with the terms, conditions and limits set by the LTFA (according to Art. 1 (2) LTFA). For instance:

  • For passenger automobiles the taxable amount is determined according to engine power adjusted by a coefficient depending on the year of manufacture;
  • For buses the taxable amount is determined by the number of seats;
  • For cargo trucks of up to 12 tons of permissible maximum weight the taxable amount is a fixed sum per each ton of load-carrying capacity;
  • For motorcycles the taxable amount is the absolute amount depending on the cubic capacity of the engine.

The tariff under the LTFA contains the information about the specific taxable amount and the extent to which it is possible for the municipal council to amend it.

The tax is payable in two equal instalments in the periods from 1 March to 30 June and until 30 October of the year to which the tax is due.