BIR: Wondering about receipts

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Friday, February 1, 2013


THESE days, when you make a payment to PLDT Baguio, you are handed what they call a “transactional” receipt. In the past two months, as I have twice been handed one of these, I have asked for an official receipt each time. The teeny boppers at the counter have each time said that the official receipt is “kasama ho sa billing statement.” I have tons to say about that answer, but let’s leave that for a while.

Each time, I have insisted that they ought to be giving me an official receipt when I fork over my payment, and each time, the teeny boppers have blankly said that “kasama ho sa billing statement.” Here’s the punch line: I have yet to receive a billing statement. Ergo, I am lately running on an account with a phone company that has been swallowed up by a communications giant and has yet to bill me and has yet to issue me an official receipt for payments made. Whatever happened to the days when you paid your phone bill and got an official receipt when you did so?

As far as I know, the moment we hand over a receipt to an establishment, the acceptable practice is for them to give you an official receipt. I check online, and find our Bureau of Internal Revenue’s official website (www.bir.gov.ph) and corresponding Administrative Provisions. Section 237 is titled “Issuance of Receipts or Sales or Commercial Invoices.” Part of that section states that “The original of each receipt or invoice shall be issued to the purchaser, customer or client at the time the transaction is effected…” So perhaps I’m right to expect an official receipt from PLDT when I pay them.

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But a later proviso in this BIR’s code has it that “The Commissioner may, in meritorious cases, exempt any person subject to internal revenue tax from compliance with the provisions of this Section.” So maybe PLDT is a “person” exempt from having to issue official receipts “at the time the transaction is effected.”

I wonder.

Perhaps we should really all wonder if the billing statements that the counter teeny boppers at PLDT Baguio say are our official receipts comply with another BIR proviso: “All persons who are engaged in business shall secure from the Bureau of Internal Revenue an authority to print receipts or sales or commercial invoices before a printer can print the same.” Does PLDT have BIR permission to equate their billing statements with official receipts?

Wonder with me.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on February 02, 2013.

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