Tax laws enforcement vs delinquents to continue — Henares

Written by  Ed Velasco
Monday, 30 July 2012 00:00 [ tribune.net.ph ]

Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Kim Jacinto-Henares warned all tax delinquents the claws of the law will not stop until everybody pays the right taxes due to government.

Henares was reacting to news reports the BIR under her helm has become too harsh as almost all sectors of the society are now taxed.

A sector that recently started paying a combined seven percent is that of small mining, particularly gold mining,  composed of 400,000 individuals.

The collection of two percent excise tax and five percent withholding tax against gold sellers caused the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ gold purchase to drop dramatically.

The tax also caused the sellers to sell their gold haul to black market where  the precious mineral is shipped out of the country.

“The policy is for the BIR to be an enforcement agency and not a customer service agency and make full use of the remedies allowed under the National Internal Revenue Code to enforce our tax laws and collect the taxes due the government in a timely manner,” Henares told The Daily Tribune.

She said law-abiding people need not to worry that BIR is becoming too harsh as the strict policy is only against those who don’t pay right taxes.

“If people are following the law and paying their taxes properly, they have nothing to worry. Only people who do not pay their taxes have to worry. It will be a gross injustice to those people who pay their taxes properly, especially the wage earners, if we do not do our job and make sure others do their legal obligation. I am only doing my job — which is to collect the right taxes,” Henares said.

Last year, Henares was also at the center of controversy when the Supreme Court (SC) ruled that the expanded value added tax (evat) on tolls was constitutional.

The SC ruling caused furor from millions of travelers using the six expressways in the country as it increased tolls by 12 percent.

The decision forced many motorists to pass by provincial roads to avoid paying exorbitant fees at toll roads.

Under Henares, the BIR filed a record number of criminal suits against alleged tax evaders that include celebrities, singers, doctors and even a pawnshop owner.

However, none among those charged for tax delinquency was sent to jail.

BIR targets higher estate tax collection

By Maria Bernadette Lunas | Posted on July 16, 2012 | 12:01am
[ manilastandardtoday.com ]

The Bureau of Internal Revenue said it will check payments made by heirs of deceased property owners in a bid to raise estate tax collections.

BIR Commissioner Kim Henares said annual estate tax collection amounted to less than P1 billion, when it was supposedly “substantially higher.”

Estate tax, as defined by the BIR, is filed by the heirs when transmitting property to their name upon the death of the owner. It is not considered a tax on property.

The BIR, under the present tax rates, requires heirs of deceased persons to pay a tax equivalent to 20 percent of the value of the estate of the deceased.

The agency said it was intensifying the campaign to collect estate taxes amid the huge discrepancies between the number of deaths recorded by the National Statistics Office and the number of estate tax returns filed.

Data from the NSO showed there were 441,956 deaths in 2007; 464,581 in 2008; and 480,820 in 2009.

The BIR, however, said there were only 29,198 estate tax returns filed in 2007; 29,863 in 2008; and 26,811 in 2009.

Estate tax revenues amounted to only P649.9 million in 2007; P854.9 million in 2008; and P876.8 million in 2009.

Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima earlier said the government could actually generate “more than a billion from estate taxes in a single year,” adding that in some cases, the amount could go as high as P5 billion for a single family.

The BIR said it would coordinate with the NSO in monitoring deaths aside from other measures to determine estate tax delinquency in order to plug tax loopholes.

The agency discovered that some individuals had attempted to evade payment of corresponding estate tax by transferring properties with no declaration of death of the owner.

“Once the executor or administrator or any of the legal heirs failed to pay in six months, apart from the tax there will be surcharge and interest. And if they did not declare the estate and the BIR find out, they could be imprisoned,” Henares said.

“It’s like taxi meter.  At one point, the heirs might not get anything as their tax liability is equivalent to the property that they will inherit,” Henares said.

Revenue Regulations (RRs)
are issuances signed by the Secretary of Finance, upon recommendation of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, that specify, prescribe or define rules and regulations for the effective enforcement of the provisions of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC) and related statutes

Revenue Memorandum Orders (RMOs) are issuances that provide directives or instructions; prescribe guidelines; and outline processes, operations, activities, workflows, methods and procedures necessary in the implementation of stated policies, goals, objectives, plans and programs of the Bureau in all areas of operations, except auditing.

Revenue Memorandum Rulings (RMRs) are rulings, opinions and interpretations of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue with respect to the provisions of the Tax Code and other tax laws, as applied to a specific set of facts, with or without established precedents, and which the Commissioner may issue from time to time for the purpose of providing taxpayers guidance on the tax consequences in specific situations. BIR Rulings, therefore, cannot contravene duly issued RMRs; otherwise, the Rulings are null and void ab initio

Revenue Memorandum Circular (RMCs) are issuances that publish pertinent and applicable portions, as well as amplifications, of laws, rules, regulations and precedents issued by the BIR and other agencies/offices.

Revenue Bulletins (RB) refer to periodic issuances, notices and official announcements of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue that consolidate the Bureau of Internal Revenue's position on certain specific issues of law or administration in relation to the provisions of the Tax Code, relevant tax laws and other issuances for the guidance of the public.

BIR Rulings are official position of the Bureau to queries raised by taxpayers and other stakeholders relative to clarification and interpretation of tax laws.
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