BIR to strengthen collection

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014


THE Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) will implement 21 priority programs this year to improve tax implementation and compliance.

Majority of these programs are focused on improvement of the electronic-filing and data-matching system.

Atty. Emmanuel Alcantara, head of tax services of SGV & Co., said these projects are meant to help the agency meet its P1.46 trillion revenue collection target this year, which is 16.8 percent higher than the 2013 collection target of P1.25 trillion. BIR is targeting to hit P2 trillion in collections by 2015.

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These priority programs, according to Alcantara, are also in line with the country’s Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation commitment.

In a tax forum held at the Cebu Grand Hotel last Friday, Alcantara advised members of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) to prepare for the agency’s stringent implementation of tax collections because the agency is improving its automated processes to increase voluntary tax compliance rate and pin down unscrupulous taxpayers.

He told companies to be constantly aware of the tax updates because if they fail to comply, repercussions will be expensive.

“The BIR has a huge target this year which only suggests that they would be stricter this time,” said Alcantara.

Among the significant priority projects of the BIR are the expansion of the electronic systems for the issuance of the Certificate Authorizing Registration (eCAR), adoption of an online facility for transfer tax transactions (OSTTT) and accreditation of importers and brokers.

The eCAR is a web-based system that automates the generation of barcoded CARs and will eventually be used by BIR offices in the conduct of pre-and post-audit of transactions. This is expected to reduce revenue losses arising from spurious CARs for all kinds of one-time transactions.

Another initiative is to come up with an electronic tax information system to enhance BIR’s integrated tax system.

The BIR will also strengthen its Run After Tax Evaders Program, which seeks to identify and prosecute high-profile tax evaders through investigation of large-scale violators of the tax code.

Although this initiative has already been implemented in the past, lawyer Ma. Fides Balili, leader of market group 4 of SGV & Co., said its inclusion as one of the priority programs for 2014, only means the bureau is expected to be more vigilant this year.

The BIR recently staged a “shame campaign” against doctors for allegedly not paying the right taxes.

The BIR will also further intensify the Oplan Kandado Program, which is aimed at strengthening the bureau’s drive to suspend and close businesses for non-compliance of requirements like the issuance of prescribed sales invoices and receipts.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 19, 2014.

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