Bulgaria ratifies tax treaty with Switzerland
Ratification is still pending in Switzerland and the treaty is expected to come into effect for both countries on 1 January 2014
The Bulgarian Parliament ratified a new double taxation treaty between Bulgaria and Switzerland on 26 February 2013.
The treaty provides for a withholding tax exemption on dividends for entities with a minimum 10% holding in the capital of the distributing entity maintained for at least one year prior to distribution. A reduced 10% withholding tax on dividends will apply in all other cases.
In addition, there is an exemption from withholding tax on interest payments between affiliated companies, i.e., if one owns at least 10% of the capital in the other or a third company owns at least 10% of the capital of both companies for at least one year prior to the interest payment. A reduced 5% withholding tax will apply in all other cases.
A refund of withholding tax paid on interest and dividends will be granted retroactively whenever the one-year holding period requirement is met.
Under the treaty, the participation exemption will not be allowed if the income recipient is a conduit company. The definition of a conduit company is also set forth in the protocol.