Taxi group obtains council endorsement on percentage tax opposition-A A +A
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
THE members of the City Council last Monday agreed to indorse to the Revenue District Officer of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Cordillera Administrative Region (BIR-CAR) a letter from the taxi operators in the City of Baguio opposing the imposition of a monthly percentage tax in the amount of P550.
During discussion on the matter, the members of the august body listened to the plea from the representatives of the Samahan ng mga Taxi sa Cordillera Administrative Region (STCAR) regarding the implementation by the BIR District Office 8 of a monthly percentage tax in the amount of P550 which increased the old rate of P275 per month collected previously by the BIR-CAR.
The said letter petition reiterated the position of the taxi group that the percentage tax currently being collected from them has no basis in law citing that it is “unlawful,” “unjust” and “confiscatory” and thus requesting the city council to intervene on the matter.
The letter-petition of the taxi group questioned the percentage tax imposition citing that no memorandum circular or administrative order was issued by the BIR central office, relative to the imposition of the P550 per month payment of monthly percentage taxes on taxi operators, nationwide or in the city of Baguio.
The letter further stated that despite verbal requests made to the employees of the BIR-CAR by the said taxi group that they will be furnished with the appropriate copy of the order thereof, they were informed that no such copy of any circular or order exists relating to the matter. It further stated in the letter that what the taxi group was furnished is merely a photocopy of an unsigned and undated advisory which was allegedly issued by the Revenue District Officer Fely Simon.
The opposition of the taxi group on the said percentage tax, as mentioned in their letter, also relied on the non-publication of the said memorandum circular or administrative order, assuming there was one, of not being published as required by law, citing that “all laws, regulations, issuances, and memorandum circulars, among others, shall be published in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation for it to legally take effect.”
The letter further stated that since it appears that no mandatory publication of the said order or circular was made then the imposition of the said percentage tax is in violation of procedural due process of law.
Finally the taxi group cited the unjust and selective imposition of the said percentage tax on them considering that other common carriers such as garage, mini-bus, school service van, and public utility jeepneys (PUJ’s) are taxed much, much lower than them as per the advisory from the BIR. The taxi group said that clearly the imposition has singled them out without clear distinctions and therefore allegedly “contrary to the principle that taxes and other impositions must be general in nature, and not particular, it applies to all or none at all”.
Another discrepancy, which the taxi group bared in their letter, is the information that the BIR Revenue District Office in La Trinidad, Benguet is still imposing the old percentage tax rate of P160 per month and that there has yet been no adjustment in the amount of P550 which is being currently collected from the taxi operators in the city of Baguio. Also, the said percentage tax which is being collected from the local taxi operators here in the city is allegedly not yet being enforced on taxi operators in Metro Manila and elsewhere.
For its part, the City Council after careful deliberation of the request by the said taxi group decided to indorse the matter to the office of Ms. Fely C. Simon, Revenue District Officer, BIR-CAR for favorable consideration.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on March 20, 2013.