Cause and Effect in European Politics and Law

The payment of state fees via banks is illegal, according to the Active Consumers Association

Ralitsa Kovacheva, February 22, 2010

Citizens liabilities to the state should not be paid via a bank but in cash or via tax marks instead, the Association Active Consumers says. Currently, payments are being made only via banks which is not explicitly written in the State Fees legislation but it charges citizens with commissions, the Association adds.

Furthermore, payment in cash is practically impossible because all cashiers desks that existed in the past have been removed and the institutions do not inform citizens that they can pay a state fee via tax marks. These marks can be bought in every post office in the country but very few people know that they can do this.

This is why the Associations has sent a letter to the ministers of internal affairs, of finance and of justice, as well as to the Supreme Court Council, insisting in all state institutions like courts, the Traffic Control, the National Revenues Agency, the National Social Securities Institute, the Trade Register, to have cashiers desks put in place so that citizens could pay their liabilities in cash.

At present in each institution or near it, there is a branch of a bank, abusing its monopolistic position. Instead of reducing to a minimum level their transfer fees for state institutions, as the banks have thousand of daily payments guaranteed, on the contrary - the banks have imposed unreasonable and not well founded high fees. Sometimes, the fees exceed the cost of the liability. For example, if you want a copy of a court's ruling you have to pay a state fee of 10 stotinki (less than 5 euro cents) but the bank will charge you 3 to 5 levs (1.53-2.56 euro) for the transfer.

If there are cashiers desks for cash payments, the state institutions will prove they respect law and the rights of thousands of Bulgarian citizens who, as taxpayers, support these very same institutions, the Association Active Consumers say in their letter.