“Keep Up With Tax 2” educational campaign of the National Revenue Agency of Bulgaria
By Rosen Bachvarov, Communications Director, National Revenue Agency, Bulgaria
For a second year in a row the Bulgarian National Revenue Agency (NRA) is carrying out the “Keep Up With Tax” educational campaign. The campaign includes meetings with students aged between 14 and 18 in the secondary general education schools in the country’s 28 regional centres. The campaign aims to provide basic information about taxes and social security contributions and why it is necessary to pay them, as well as practical advice on young people’s forthcoming meeting with the financial system. During the 2015 campaign 73 NRA officials will visit about 120 schools throughout the country. Following a special script and presentation each lecturer will present several topics of interest and future use for the young people. The goal of the meetings is that the lecturers provoke interest among the students, and provide them with suitable sources of information on taxes and social security contributions. This year once again the students will be joined in the classrooms by Bulgarian celebrities – idols to the young people – singer Deo, actors Dimitar Rachkov and Maria Ignatova, journalist Luyben Dilov Jr., musicians Ivan Tishev, Ivan Ivanov and Mona Nedeva of Revolution Z.
A part of NRA’s educational campaign is the “Password: Cash Receipt” game. Via an app for Facebook and mobile phones every student in Bulgaria can participate in the “Password: Cash Receipt” game by registering 3 details of every cash receipt received after 01.01.2015. Students can participate as many times as they want, with as many cash receipts as they have. The game’s duration is 5 months, each month being a separate stage. Each stage has one winner determined by means of a prize draw. The draw includes all participants who have registered cash receipts during the respective stage (month). The students play for attractive prizes – 2 tablets, 2 cameras, and a game console.
The name of the first winner in the game was drawn by prominent Bulgarian actor Dimitar Rachkov. A 12th grade (final year of secondary school) student from the city of Svishtov received a tablet after registering a cash receipt for BGN 1,67 (approximately EUR 0,84). He was drawn from 900 students who participated in the first stage of the game and registered more than 35 000 cash receipts.
In the second month 980 students participated in the campaign and registered more 118 000 cash receipts to the amount of nearly BGN 1 million (EUR 500 000).
Second grade student Vasil Kostov from the city of Plovdiv was the winner in stage 2 of the “Password: Cash Receipt” game. He won after having registered 315 cash receipts, and the lucky one was to the amount of BGN 3,40 (EUR 1,70). NRA officials presented him with the prize (a tablet) at a surprise visit during his school classes.
NRA will give out 3 more prizes by the end of the campaign. In March and April the students will play for 2 digital cameras, and the award for the last stage of the game will be a PlayStation.
De: Borja Díaz
Talking to young people about taxes is a real challenge. The Bulgarian experience shows that teaching students values and basic aspects about State tax revenue and its relationship with public needs can be fun. Also, how important is to make them to get involved in the learninig process.
De: Manfred Elmecker/Austria
Congratulation to this educational campaign and to this innovative approach! Especially the idea of the "Cash Receipt" game; a relatively "easy" tool with a huge impact. I am convinced that with a selected mix of educational and communicational measures, Tax Administrations can provide important information to all relevant stakeholders and therefore increase the understanding of paying taxes. This chosen possibilities can also support transparency and efficiency of public services.