BIR stands firm on decision to collect gold taxes

Pay taxes like everyone else, small miners told


The Bureau of Internal Revenue stands firm on its decision to collect taxes on gold sales despite growing opposition.

According to Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares, the argument that the tax on gold sales has been pushing small-scale miners to sell gold to buyers outside the country is not a sufficient reason for the government to stop collecting taxes.

What is needed, Henares said, is strict enforcement of the law so that small-scale miners will stop turning to smugglers who bring the gold out of the country.

The law requires small-scale miners to sell all the gold they dig out to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). The miners are subject to a 2-percent excise tax and 5-percent creditable withholding tax on gold sales.

The central bank, in turn, keeps the gold as part of the country’s total reserves of foreign exchange.

But gold sales to the BSP have been declining, reportedly since the BIR started to strictly collect the taxes. In particular, the BIR has set up desks at the gold-buying sites of the BSP to ensure that taxes are collected in every transaction.

The strict collection of taxes has prompted some small-scale miners to sell gold to certain buyers who then take the precious metal out of the country.

Given the substantial drop in gold sales to the BSP, some legislators have called on the BIR to temporarily stop the collection of the excise tax and creditable withholding tax on gold sales until the government comes up with a solution.

But Henares said it would be more simple to enforce the law against smuggling.

“Small-scale miners should sell gold to the BSP because it is what the law states. If they don’t do so, then they commit a violation. What should be done about the issue is for law enforcement to be stricter,” Henares told reporters Thursday.

She suggested that the Bureau of Customs require gold exporters, particularly small-scale ones, to show documentary proof that the gold they are trying to bring out of the country was bought from the BSP.

The BOC must then stop any shipment of gold that has no certification from the BSP and hold the exporters for questioning, Henares said.

On complaints that the BSP only has a few gold-buying sites—in Baguio City, Quezon City, Naga City, Davao City, and Zamboanga City—Henares said the central bank should accredit entities to buy gold on its behalf.

Henares said stopping the collection of taxes on gold sales defeats the government’s purpose to regulate mining.

“Mining is being allowed, even if it is harmful to the environment, because of the revenue that the government may generate from it. Otherwise, why would we allow mining if the state will not earn anything from it,” Henares said.

She also said that it is the obligation of small-scale miners to pay taxes just like everyone else.

“Many of them earn much more than salaried individuals who pay taxes to the government,” Henares said.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • JaAb65

    tma lang yan, henares. kung kmi ngang ordinaryong manggagawa lang eh, may tax. kaltas na sweldo bgo pa dumampi sa palad nmin. bkit silang mlaki ang kita eh hindi? mas dpat nting bantayan yang mga yan, lalo na ang mga smallscale at illegal miners. sila na nga sumisira sa kalikasan  ntin tayo pa magpapabully sa knila? kung mas malaki na kita nila kesa sa legal miners na nagbabayad ng tax, dpat lang talaga silang buwisan. mhigpit na pagmomonitor lang ang kailangan na dpat mgsimula sa mismong mga minahan. hindi dapat binibgyan ng  DENR ng permit ang mga gnitong minahan.

    pero bakit kaya tahimik ang mismong DENR sa usaping ito?


    tama si Kimmy. kung ang isang ordinaryong mangagawa ay nagbabayad ng buwis bakit hindi ang mga nagmimina ng ginto na higit na masmalaki ang kita. political will  ang kailangan. kung ayaw nilang ibenta sa BSP ang ginto ay pagbawal na ang pagmimina sa lahat ng minanahan.

    hindi maaaring mag pa blackmail ang ating gobyerno.

  • manuelcdiaz

    This BIR Commissioner Henares is a big fat fool. The smuggler of GOLD do not show their shipment to any government  official that is why it is called smuggling. Second the small scale miners can sell their gold to anybody without paper trail. If Central Bank wants the gold buy it tax free other wise Binondo CEntral Bank corners the GOLD. Henares should realize that her stand is sheer idiocy.IDIOTS AND MORONS IN THE GOVERNMENT RIDES AGAIN.

  • CheapJ

    Good argument Commissioner Henares. Keep it up!

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks



latest videos