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 Overseas Property Owners in BG

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itchyfeet
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PostSubject: Overseas Property Owners in BG   Wed Oct 16, 2013 5:28 pm

[size=50:vy8715fr]Property Wire

Overseas property owners in Bulgaria warned over law change
TUESDAY, 21 AUGUST 2012

Bulgaria's low prices, beautiful scenery and kind climate have tempted many Brits to buy property in the country but now a leading firm of property lawyers is warning some owners could face financial penalties and even risk losing their property because of changes in Bulgarian Law.

West Yorkshire based John Howe &
Co believes many people could be unaware of the complexities of the Bulgarian legal process and its potential impact on their properties. We have been contacted by several owners of Bulgarian property who fear they may lose their assets to the government. There could be many other property owners who don't know about the Bulgarian legal process and who could potentially risk losing their properties,ђ said John Howe, managing partner at the firm. Until recently foreigners have not been able to buy land, or property with land, including houses, villas, and even some apartments, in Bulgaria in their own name. Therefore, it was common practice for foreigners to register a Bulgarian company and buy property through that. But what many property owners do not realise is that to comply with European Union legislation the Bulgarian government required all companies to be re-registered by 31 December 2011.

The companies which failed to do so can no longer re-register, their trade activities are permanently ceased and they cannot trade or dispose of their assets. When new EU laws come into effect in Bulgaria this October, anyone who failed to re-register their company, many now face the prospect of a large bill and losing the assets of their Bulgarian company to the state, including any property. As one of only a handful of firms nationwide recommended by the Law Society for matters relating to the purchase of properties and apartments in Bulgaria, John Howe and his team have come up with a solution to this latest legal challenge for British owners of Bulgarian properties. Our specialist team of property lawyers have done a lot of work investigating the issues surrounding the re-registering of Bulgarian properties and believe they have found a solution whereby individuals can liquidate the company and transfer all the assets to a group of shareholders,ђ Howe explained.

The ultimate result is that the property remains in the hands of the original purchaser and isn't lost to the state,ђ he added. John Howe &
Co has represented investors in Bulgaria and assisted them in the negotiation and purchase of properties in the region. The company has also acted for a large developer in the purchase of land and the subsequent development and sale of apartments. There are many thousand British expatriates currently residing in Bulgaria. Whilst no-one really knows exactly how many Brits have made Bulgaria their favoured short term destination or permanent residence, the numbers have steadily grown over the past several years.

The British Embassy in Sofia estimates there are at least 8,000 to 9,000 British currently living in Bulgaria. Some are posted long term by their company;
some take their regular vacations in Bulgaria;
many have moved there permanently. One of the most appealing features of buying a property in Bulgaria is the value for money. Although rising, property prices are incredibly cheap. An average villa close to the sea can be purchased for around 30,000 with rural properties being offered for as little as ã5,000.

This obviously pertains to owners with companies.
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Phil-H
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PostSubject: Re: Overseas Property Owners in BG   Wed Oct 16, 2013 5:41 pm

Thanks,

Although without knowing any of the OP I always knew there was a underlying reason why I also advocating people sell their property free from any company restrictions etc.

So now again, even more of a reason for people at present trying to sell their property along with a registered company, to close down the company first and then sell the property free of any company commitments.

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PostSubject: Re: Overseas Property Owners in BG   Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:52 pm

This gets more confusing as we dig deeper. if one were to leave BG altogether and sold the house but did not demutulise the company who would be responsible for the company taxes

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Phil-H
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PostSubject: Re: Overseas Property Owners in BG   Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:41 pm

Not too sure about the word "
demutulise"
as it sounds confusing when trying to find it's meaning, or maybe it's a BG word?

But I think the gist of what you ask is if somehow you managed to purchased a property without all the proper checks being carried out and you did not know about the company attached to it, then possibly when the time comes the tax man could deem it as you paid for a property and have no legal rights to it.

Then the legal argument start.

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PostSubject: Re: Overseas Property Owners in BG   Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:11 am

Phil-H wrote:
Not too sure about the word "
demutulise"
as it sounds confusing when trying to find it's meaning, or maybe it's a BG word?

But I think the gist of what you ask is if somehow you managed to purchased a property without all the proper checks being carried out and you did not know about the company attached to it, then possibly when the time comes the tax man could deem it as you paid for a property and have no legal rights to it.

Then the legal argument start.


Yes Phill that is it in a nutshell a friend is selling her house and moving to the UK but she has no closed the company down so will she still have to pa the taxes, bear in mind she will no longer have the house and land which actually formed the company when she bought. Gets a bit confusing eh!!! I understand it will cost anything up to £1000 to demutulise the company. ::

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PostSubject: Re: Overseas Property Owners in BG   Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:01 am

oddball wrote:
Phil-H wrote:
Not too sure about the word "
demutulise"
as it sounds confusing when trying to find it's meaning, or maybe it's a BG word?

But I think the gist of what you ask is if somehow you managed to purchased a property without all the proper checks being carried out and you did not know about the company attached to it, then possibly when the time comes the tax man could deem it as you paid for a property and have no legal rights to it.

Then the legal argument start.


Yes Phill that is it in a nutshell a friend is selling her house and moving to the UK but she has no closed the company down so will she still have to pa the taxes, bear in mind she will no longer have the house and land which actually formed the company when she bought. Gets a bit confusing eh!!! I understand it will cost anything up to £1000 to demutulise the company. ::

I think you mean "
liquidate"
the company, by what i've found can cost anything FROM £1000 not up to, the process takes a minimum 6 months as there has to be time for accounts of all debtor's and creditor's to make any claims (should there be any), obviously non trading Company's (as most foreigners have) are a lot easier to liquidate. It's strange that your "
friend"
thinks she can legally sell the house and and disappear with the money, the house belongs to the company and she/they are only the Directors/Managers of such Company and she would infact be defrauding the Company and probably the State, she must separate the house from the Company 1st, (why it's £1000 min) The other alternative (not advised) is to sell and run but never come back to BG, or sell the House and Company together, ie a Company takeover, where you just change the names of the Managers and take the money in cash, no taxes nothing just Notarial fees. If you had been clever enough ;
-), at the beginning when you formed the Company, you would/should have made a loan agreement between yourselves (as individuals) and the yourselves as Directors of the Company, the amount (or greater) of the cost of the house, fittings and renovations, and that the Company has now to repay this loan. If you don't liquidate you will have to make annual accounts for what is basically a shell Company.

As regards to the original topic, the re-registration (of Companies) had to carried out and completed before December 31st 2011, after this date all Companies not done will be liquidated by the Government and all assets seized. As with all Laws and amendments in Bulgaria the onus is on the individual (not the state) to be aware of all Laws and amendments, pleading ignorance is no defense.
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