Foes to friends: Gov't, professionals eye info sharing
MANILA, Philippines - Instead of an adversarial relationship between the regulator and the regulated, the parties are pursuing collaboration.
Taking off from the well-received tax briefing the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) gave to professional basketball players -- some of whom have been slapped with tax cases -- the government is seeking to replicate the same approach with other professional organizations.
In a statement released on Wednesday, April 10, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said that the Department of Finance (DOF), the BIR, and the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) are set to initiate an information gathering initiative to improve the country's tax collection.
The BIR would compare its list of professionals against the PRC database, said Purisima, who has been pushing a name-and-shame campaign against tax evaders.
The DOF has sent letters to professional groups such as the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants, United Architects of the Philippines, Philippine Medical Association, Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers, Philippine Dental Association, and the Social Security System.
Some of the members of these groups are facing tax evasion charges that the BIR has filed before the Department of Justice.
The DOF claims that there is a gap in terms of the number of active professionals and the number of employees and businesses that paid taxes. According to PRC data, there were 2,046,266 professionals registered in 2012. However, the total number of self-employed, businesses and professionals that paid taxes was just at 402,934.
Purisima said DOF & BIR will provide workshops similar to what Comm Henares organized for the PBA, as needed.
"We urge our country’s professional associations to support our tax campaign. Everyone will benefit from paying the right taxes when government and private sector work together,” Purisima said.
The program is part of the Aquino administration's plan to boost the country's tax effort to 16% in 2016 from its current level of 12.8%.
The BIR is looking to collect P1.253 trillion in 2013. - Rappler.com