Conference "The Future of VAT. Digital Economy"

Sofia, Bulgaria
8 November - 9 November 2018

About the conference

The IFA Bulgarian branch is pleased to invite you to the conference "The Future of VAT. Digital Economy" which will be held in Sofia, Bulgaria, on 8 and 9 November 2018.


  • Dr. Raffaele Petruzzi (WU Transfer Pricing Center / WU)
  • Ekaterina Tarhova (Ministry of Finance of Bulgaria)
  • Marcin Jamrozy (Warsaw School of Economics)
  • Prof. Guglielmo Maisto (Maisto e Associati / Universitá Cattolica di Piacenza / IFA Italy)
  • Rick Franke, tax consultant, Taxture Tax & Legal, member of NOB


 Aula Magna at the Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, Bulgaria


The official working languages of the conference are English and Bulgarian. 


Download here the full programme of the conference.

Report on the Conference

For the second year in a row, the Bulgarian branch of IFA, together with the Law Faculty of Sofia University, has organized what is reported to be "the biggest tax event" in Bulgaria - the second international IFA conference. 

After the success of its first edition which drew the attention of the Bulgarian tax community to the issues surrounding the BEPS project, this year's conference opened for debate the topic "THE FUTURE OF VAT. DIGITAL ECONOMY". 

It took place in Sofia on 8-9 November 2018 and it was hosted by the Law Faculty of Sofia University in its Aula Magna which is among the most impressive ceremonial halls in the Bulgarian capital. This venue choice was specially made to reflect the significance of the event for the Bulgarian tax community.

The second IFA conference in Bulgaria came as a follow-up event to the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU (the January-June round) thus ensuring the consistency of the public debate. 

It has addressed the most pressing issues on the international tax agenda -  the future of VAT within the EU and the challenges of the digital economy (a priority task of the Bulgarian Presidency) in terms of taxation.

The utmost relevance of the covered topics has brought together leading academics and researchers, prominent tax professionals, government representatives, tax authorities, accountants, financial experts, lawyers, representatives of the business world and others. It happened to be a meeting point for science and practice, enforcement and compliance, fiscal politics and business practices. 

More than 350 participants attended the event which contributed for an open and lively debate with the involvement of all interested parties. 

The conference has been in the headlines with its international speakers - prominent professionals in the field. The public had the privilege to get first-hand insights into the different legislative initiatives and proposals on the issues. Among the most noteworthy speakers at the conference were high OECD and EU Commission officials who are directly involved in the legislative processes. Representatives of the Bulgarian Judiciary, senior officials of the Ministry of Finance and heads of offices in the Bulgarian National Revenue Agency were also panelists at the event.

The conference was opened on the 8th of November 2018 with the welcoming speech of the Dean of the Law Faculty of Sofia University - Prof. Dr. Sasho Penov followed by the Chairman of IFA - Bulgaria - Mr. Valentin Savov.

The discussion went on in two panels, separating the VAT-related questions from the broader issue of digital economy and taxation:

The first panel, held on the 8th of November 2018, was solely devoted to the future of VAT within the EU legal framework. It addressed the need for reform of the existing common EU VAT system and also VAT issues related to the E-commerce. The highlights of this first panel were the EU Commission VAT proposals and projects that were presented and discussed by Mr. Agustín Míguez Perez - Policy officer in the Value added tax unit at the Directorate General for Taxation and Customs Union of the EU. Those initiatives were then considered from a critical perspective by prof. Marie Lamensch - Professor of International and European Tax Law at the Institute for European Studies and the Faculty of Law of the Université libre de Bruxelles. A further comment of the quick fixes proposals and their impact in Bulgaria has been made by Georgi Simeonov - tax director at Deloitte, Bulgaria. The possibilities of modern technology for collection of VAT were considered by Rick Francke - member of NOB. The panel has culminated in the topic concerning the interaction between the ECJ decisions and the Bulgarian jurisprudence with regard to VAT adjustment which was presented by Madlen Petrova - judge in the Supreme Administrative Court. The last presented was the position of the Bulgarian Tax Authorities on the VAT reform and developments.

The second panel, held on the 9th of November 2018, focused on the global issues arising for taxation in the so called "era of digital revolution". The problems of the digital economy taxation were considered in the light of both EU and OECD proposals. One of the most notable panelists at the event was Ms. Sophie Chatel – Head of the OECD Tax Treaty Unit who discussed the proposals on OECD level. The position of the Bulgarian Ministry of Finance was also presented. The relationship between the EU proposals and the tax treaties (based on the OECD model) was discussed afterwards by Prof. Guglielmo Maisto - President of the Italian Branch of IFA. In the end, insight was given on the digital service tax by Prof. Marcin Jamrozy - Associate Professor at the Tax Department of the Finance Institute at Warsaw School of Economics.

The conference got strong media coverage and support. Given the success of its first edition related to the BEPS project and the considerable interest in the second, the IFA conference promises to become the largest authoritative forum for tax debate in Bulgaria. 

Information and registration

For more information about this event please visit the website:


Mr. Valentin Savov, IFA Bulgaria

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