BIR to continue going after tax evaders


MANILA, Philippines—Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares said the agency would continue to run after tax evaders from all professions as the program seemed to be bearing fruit.

Henares said the BIR’s tax collection rate has improved and this could be an effect of their intensified campaign to run after tax evaders.

“We are collecting much more so maybe more people are paying right,” she said at a press briefing at the Philippine Information Agency on Friday.

“I would say that there’s an effect but it’s not enough. We still have to reach a tipping point, but hopefully that tipping point won’t come to the President escorting someone to jail,” Henares noted.

From January-July 2011, the tax bureau reported that it collected P531.79 billion in taxes from individuals and corporate taxpayers.

While this was 0.58 percent below of the collection target of P534.9 billion set for the first seven months, this was still higher by nearly 14 percent from the collections in the same period last year.

Citing a World Bank study, Henares also said there is still 4 percent of the gross domestic product that can be collected through tax.

The BIR has started to file tax evasion charges against well known members of the law and medical community to set an example to others.

Election lawyer George Erwin Garcia, who counts among his clients deposed President Joseph Estrada and son Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, was charged on Thursday with tax evasion.

According to Henares, Garcia earned only P1.38 million in 2010 but was able to buy a condominium unit in Makati City for P53.3 million, thus underdeclaring his income by 30 percent.

The BIR also filed in the justice department the complaints against Garcia, Banco Filipino lawyer Abelardo Aportadera Jr., neurologist Willy Go Lopez and dermatologist Sylvia Huang.

Henares said the investigation by the BIR was not concentrated on doctors and lawyers. She noted that the agency would file other complaints to professionals in other fields who have been found that they misdeclared their earnings to evade paying the right taxes.

Henares also said the agency constantly monitors newspapers and magazines to see if politicians are exhibiting lavish lifestyles.

The BIR official appealed to the public to help the agency by declaring the true value of their assets and liabilities and to pay the right taxes.

“It is difficult for the BIR to monitor everyone. We have to monitor 27.5 million people,” Henares said.

To avoid being dragged in the media spotlight, the BIR chief urged high-paying professionals and politicians to pay the correct taxes.

“Paying the right taxes is not just a legal obligation, it is also a moral obligation,” Henares said.

Henares noted that small businesses and cab drivers should follow the BIR’s rules on issuing receipts. Vendors who sell goods online and in bazaars should register their business and issue receipts for every transaction.

“Everyone who has a business has to register. Those who sell goods P25 and above should give receipts,” she said.

She also reminded taxi drivers and operators to give receipts to their passengers. The BIR is currently monitoring this program, she said. Henares said drivers and operators who have failed to do this could face jail time.

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  • Anonymous

    Go BIR sa paghuli sa mga tax cheaters, tulad ng lawyer na kinasuhan nyo, maraming ganyan sa bayan natin! Kawawa naman kasi yung mga maliliit na manggagawa, maliit na ang kita nila, malaki pa ang nababawas na buwis sa kanilang suweldo.  Habulin nyo yung mga mayayaman diyan sa Customs, sa BIR, mga Senators at Congressmen at iba pang mga negosyante at professionals na hindi nagbabayad ng tamang buwis.

  • Anonymous

    …why? are they allowed to cease in doing so or at some point they actually did stop in pursuing tax evaders? trabaho na nila yon, di na kailangang sabihin o ipag-mayabang pa…

  • Tyopando

    Pag namili ako ng isang kahang sigarilyo sa cigarette vendor sa kalye, kailangan ba sya mag-issue ng resibo? Ganoon din pag bumili ako ng isang kilong talong sa bangketa?  O isang Coke Litro sa tindahan ng kapit-bahay? Ang tricycle sa amin 30 pesos ang bayad, dapat me resibo din?Magandang idea yan pero mahirap ipatupad……..alam po ba ni Sec. Henarez kung magkano ang gastos at hirap pagpapa-print ng Official Receipt? Ang gastos sa pagre-register ng negosyo sa munisipyo? Puhunan nga sa araw-araw problema na. Dagdagan pa ba? Tama po na mag-concentrate muna kayo Madam sa mga Professionals dahil hindi pa kaya ng maralitang negosyante ang gusto nyong mangyari……..

  • Anonymous

    Yes, the use of common sense is good. The newspaper and magazine scanning is a nice one. How about a website for whistle blowers? I’m sure madaming nagoyong pasyente na gustong gumanti man lang pagkatapos singilin ng super mahal ng mga doctor.  

  • be honest

    There are basically 2 areas ” cheat ” and ” dont pay ”
    BIR is more concentrated on ” cheat “. Those that ” underdeclared income ” thus paid less. Thats good because BIR can cross-check like their life stye.
    But BIR should broaden the taxpayer list. It ” encourages ” those vendors and ” underground economy operators “. Thats not enough. BIR should find ways to compell them to register. Those dont register you cant check. Simple.
    Most shopping mall vendors. booth operators dont register, especially during Christmas and Special occassion/promo. Sari Sari stores dont register. Construction workers and most daily wage earners dont register. Tricycle drivers dont register.
    By the way P25 should issue receipt is out of date. It should be higher, like P100 or more. Who cares to ask a receipt when they buy goods for P30, like in the market.

  • Anonymous

    Go go go BIR!! Kahit sa UAE na super yaman na bansa at dating hindi sumisingil ng buwis ngayon may tax na.

  • Anonymous

    though it is right to run after the middle class taxpayers, the bir however has to show first a big catch on some of these huge companies which for sure will be in the range of billion pesos! did they even try looking at the recently published dollar billionaires in the ph, the big 3 oil coy?

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