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BIR targets dormitories, boarding houses tax drive

By Zinnia B. Dela Pena (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 14, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is setting its sights on owners of dormitories and boarding houses as part of the government’s intensified drive against tax fraud and tax evasion.

 The BIR has launched “Resibo sa Upa Mo Katumbas ay Premyo” program, which allows students staying in rooming houses or dormitories in Manila a chance to earn cash just by remitting to the agency the receipts or invoices issued by their landlords.

 The BIR’s Manila Revenue Region director Araceli Francisco  said the project came about  after the agency noted the low tax compliance by operators of rooming houses.

She likewise noted the failure by most lodging operators to register their businesses with the BIR.

The program’s goal is to boost  revenue collections and ensure that owners of boarding houses and dormitories pay the correct taxes.

The BIR will only accept receipts or any proof of payment that were issued by the lodging operators beginning Jan. 1 this year.

Participants may drop their receipts at drop boxes located in various universities and colleges in Manila as well as in some branches of the National Bookstore.

The BIR will hold weekly draws beginning July 23, with the grand draw set on Aug. 23.

 The program is also aimed at addressing the perennially low income tax collection in the self-employed, businesses and professionals segment.

The government is reportedly losing an amount equivalent to four percent of the  economy’s gross domestic product every year due to tax evasion and income under-declaration.
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KNOWING YOUR BIR REGULATIONS AND ISSUANCES

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.