Strict tax collection to surpass 2012 revenues by 100%

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014


TAX collection, if strictly implemented, would surpass revenue earnings for more than a hundred percent from what Cagayan de Oro City is collecting at present, the city’s treasurer said.

City Treasurer Glen Bañez said that once proper declaration and assessment of the taxable income of businesses, including other forms of taxations, for the city to earn P5 billion annual revenue is achievable.

Bañez said that currently the city earns more than P2 billion a year using the old system of collecting taxes, “which allowed businesses to declare their income as they see fit for tax purposes.”

“This time we will strictly implement the 2003 Tax Code of the city, with all proper documents to be presented from businesses for calculation and arrived at the exact payable taxes.” Bañez said.

He said that although the Moreno Administration will strictly follow the intent of the law, the enforcement will be done gradually to give time taxpayers to adjust to the system where all taxable incomes are deemed payables.

Bañez, cited a certain food chain which only declared P39,000 as annual income when it paid taxes to the city, but in close scrutiny, the store has earned many times over from what it declared, thus depriving the city of revenue.

Cagayan de Oro has more than 20,000 business establishments where if they pay the right taxes, the city could exceed its revenue target.

Bañez furthered that the city still has a lot of tax collectibles that the past administration ignored.

This time, the business establishments will be obliged to present documents such as Value Added Tax (Vat) return, to find out if they have paid the government the right Vat; income tax return; and the financial statements.

“With all these documents, and proper validation, we can easily compute the right taxes due to the city.

‘No higher tax rates’

Bañez denied allegations that the Moreno administration is implementing a new and higher tax rates. He said that without the approval from the legislative body, the new tax rates cannot be implemented or enforced.

“With that, I strongly deny the allegation that we are passing on an increased tax rate. We just want to implement the 2003 Tax Code of the city which was not wholly implemented by the past administration,” Bañez said.

The presumption of an increased tax rate accordingly came after a number of businesses complained of paying taxes five times over from what they paid during the past administration where “behest“ taxation enjoyed by big establishments close to the administration. They pay, not the right taxes, but what was comfortable for them.

Bañez calls on business establishments to visit his office and work together to find a solution to ease their tax obligation without undermining the law.

“We can always reach a win-win solution to the tax issue and I am inviting businesses to sit down with us and iron things out.” Bañez said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on January 15, 2014.

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