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Less than 1% of tax evasion cases won by gov’t

By: - Reporter / @bendeveraINQ
/ 05:28 AM February 20, 2019

Less than 1 percent of the more than 1,000 alleged tax evaders slapped with cases by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) were convicted in the past 13 years.

The latest Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) data showed that from 2005 to 2018, only 10 cases filed under the Run After Tax Evaders (RATE) program were resolved by courts in favor of the government. Four respondents were acquitted, although with civil liability.

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A bigger number of RATE cases—53—were dismissed by the courts.

As of end-2018, 929 cases remained pending at the Department of Justice (DOJ). Another 68 tax evasion cases were still pending before courts.

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The 1,064 tax evasion cases filed between 2005 and 2018 were estimated to be worth P148.35 billion in tax liabilities.

During the first two and a half years of the Duterte administration, the BIR under Commissioner Caesar R. Dulay already filed 340 RATE cases as of January this year, or about a third of the total.

Despite a low conviction rate, the BIR last month identified RATE as among its priority programs for 2019.

The BIR said the RATE program was expected to “generate maximum deterrent effect on the taxpaying public by impressing the fact that tax evasion is a crime and violators will be caught and punished.”

The program was also aimed at enhancing voluntary compliance among taxpayers, promoting the confidence of the public in the tax system as well as increasing revenue collections as it focuses on delinquent accounts in particular, the BIR added.

The Duterte administration’s economic managers had proposed a one-time tax amnesty program to raise revenues and help clear some of the backlog in tax-collection cases.

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TAGS: Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Tax Evaders
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