BIR eyes higher collections from individual taxpayers
MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is looking to boost its individual income tax collections by 16.4% this year, as it intensifies its drive against tax evaders.
The BIR is looking to collect P258.14 billion this year, a boost from the P221.77 billion it collected from individual taxpayers in 2012.
Individual income taxes, which account for over a fifth of the BIR’s total tax collections, are collected from salaried workers whose taxes are automatically withheld by employers. Others who also pay these taxes include professionals such as doctors and lawyers, and the self-employed.
The incidence of tax evasion among professionals in the country is high, according to BIR Deputy Commissioner Estela Sales. To address this, Sales said the agency launched a Run After Tax Evaders program that encourages citizens to be vigilant and report on those who do not file or pay correct taxes.
“We’re proud of our accomplishments. In the past, the agency’s batting average at the Department of Justice was dismal if you look at the number of cases that actually make it to the courts. Now, the increase in the number of cases that reach the Court of Tax Appeals is much higher,” Sales said.
One example is the 2012 conviction of Gloria Quintana, a former distributor of the Forever Living Products, under the “willful blindness” ruling that was affirmed by the Supreme Court. Under this ruling, taxpayers can no longer blame their accountants for their fraudulent tax returns.
The Aquino administration has so far filed 140 cases worth P44.27 billion against tax evaders during the first two years of its term, the Finance department said recently. The number of cases exceeded the 127 worth P7 billion filed during the 9-year term of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. - Rappler.com