Know what taxes you owe, BIR asks professionals

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Saturday, July 12, 2014


RATHER than leave all their tax obligations to their accountants, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) hopes professionals will also make time to understand taxation and be knowledgeable about what they owe the government.

BIR Revenue Region 13 Director Hermeno Palamine urged professionals to be conscious of their obligations. He also assured that the bureau, which has been running ad campaigns to show how some professionals have been reneging on their taxes, is not singling out any particular field.

Palamine said their ad campaigns were not limited to medical professionals, some of whom have complained about being singled out, as these also included lawyers and accountants. It also ran a series on the how the top 100 corporations of the Securities and Exchange Commission, based on their gross revenues, did not match the BIR’s top 500 non-individual taxpayers.

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The Department of Finance and Bureau of Internal Revenue periodically publish a series of “insights” on taxpayers in the Pera Ng Bayan website. These are occasionally published in local and national newspapers. The campaign aims to increase transparency in tax payments to encourage more people to be more prompt and honest in paying their taxes.

Palamine said the impression that they are singling out doctors is wrong and the campaigns should be proof of that.

A campaign ad showed that one of five lawyers in Cebu and Davao declared less in income tax dues than the average public school teacher.

Another ad showed the differences in the number of registered professionals and the number that actually filed income tax and value-added tax returns for 2012.

Equal scrutiny

Of the 556 registered self-employed accountants in Cebu, only 262 or 47.1 percent filed their income tax returns while only 22 or four percent paid value-added taxes.

Out of 2,825 registered self-employed doctors, only 1,675 or 59.3 percent filed an income tax return while 238 or 8.4 percent paid value-added taxes.

As for the 805 self-employed lawyers, only 424 or 52.7 percent filed income tax returns while only 16 or two percent paid value-added taxes.

“I would like to belie the statement that medical practitioners are being singled out.

That statement is wrong. This (ad campaigns) would prove that all professions are being looked into,” he said.

Palamine added that professionals are not the only ones remiss in their obligations, saying that even small firms such as beauty salons, restaurants and others offering an array of services can also be guilty of such.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 12, 2014.

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