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BIR cracks down on jewelry sellers

By: Ronnel W. Domingo, April 23rd, 2013 08:24 PM

The Bureau of Internal Revenue has issued new rules meant to deter the untaxed selling of gold that are usually carried out through hotels, with the buyers inviting sellers through newspaper advertisements.

Revenue Regulation No. 5-2013 requires the advance payment of probable taxes due on the sales of jewelry, gold and other precious metals, particularly to foreign buyers.

In a statement, the BIR observed that after it issued rules last year (RR 6-2012) that imposed excise, value-added and income taxes on the sale of gold and other metallic minerals to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) as well as to other buyers, many sellers chose to sell their gold to non-BSP buyers that did not impose the taxes.

Such selling, which the BIR said were taking place in gatherings and expositions hosted at hotels and other venues, “are tantamount to tax evasion.”

The agency did not mention particular parties involved. But a company called Field Rich Corp., which describes itself as “America’s most trusted gold buyers,” has been running full-page ads in newspapers circulated nationwide in the past few days.

The ads invite owners of gold scrap, unwanted jewelry made of gold, gold coins and even gold bars. Field Rich also wants to buy sterling silver—dining implements or old American coins.

Sellers are invited to five consecutive days— which run until Saturday—of buying events in hotels like the Eastwood Richmonde in Quezon City, Edsa Shangri-La in Mandaluyong City, New World in Makati City and The Bellevue in Muntinlupa City.

Earlier this month, the Inquirer ran a story about a similar company, H&J Jewellers. The report quoted BSP assistant governor Vicente Aquino as saying that H&J was not committing any illegal activity per se in buying gold.

But Aquino noted a law, Republic Act No. 7076 or the People’s Small-Scale Mining Act of 1991, which mandates small-scale gold miners to sell the gold they produce only to the BSP.

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