Gov't to use top taxpayers list for audits
MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Finance (DOF) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) announced that they will use the lists of top individual and corporate taxpayers to determine whether or not to conduct audits on tax-eligible entities.
The initiative is part of the agencies' information sharing campaign against tax evasion.
The BIR relies on large taxpayers -- like presidential sister Kris Aquino who topped the taxpayers list, and broadband and mobile phone service provider Smart Communications that led the top corporate taxpayers list -- or those that have paid at least P1-million in income tax, to achieve what could be an unprecedented feat of collecting P1.25 trillion in 2013.
Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said in a statement on Tuesday, April 16, that the lists will be used from the national level down to the revenue district office (RDO) level.
“We closely review the top taxpayers’ lists when we analyze our tax collection data. Based on our research and benchmarks, we have expectations for the profile of taxpayers that appear on these lists and we investigate findings that diverge from our conclusions,” said Purisima.
The lists will be used to track significant movements. Taxpayers with large payment discrepancies from one year to the next might be flagged for an audit, Purisima added.
The list could be used to monitor income tax compliance among businesses, professionals and self-employed taxpayers. He added that the BIR will use the list to check for inconsistencies in data involving the market shares of top importers and businesses.
"These lists serve as another way to double- and triple-check income tax payments in populations that are historically difficult to track, such as the self-employed, businesses, and professionals. Our most successful business personalities and corporate citizens should also be top taxpayers – and if that is not the case, we need to find out why,” Purisima said. - with reports from Christian Bautista/Rappler.com