BIR sets drive vs ‘tax cheats’

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) disclosed Wednesday that it will intensify its drive versus “tax cheats” to step up local collection in Central Luzon.

This, as BIR RR4 Regional Director Jethro Sabariaga said that the bureau is on track with its overall 20 percent growth rate in collection and that it is expected to achieve its 2017 target of P31-billion for the whole year.

To step up local collection, Sabariaga said that government should catch more tax cheats and make people feel that these cheats could be caught.

Local government units, Sabariaga said, should share local information on the local business taxes that they collect.

Local professionals should also be encouraged to do their share in payment of taxes and do the right thing as respected members of society.

Sabariaga said that more than just information sharing, BIR should go out of its way to equalize business opportunities and promote a fair and sustainable business environment by catching tax cheats.

Sabariaga said that for February alone, the region was able to surpass by 20 percent higher last year’s collection.

The BIR has collected some P4.4-billion for January to February alone, and that the P31-billion target for 2017 could be achieved if the good economic conditions continue along with the good participation of taxpayers in Central Luzon, he added.

Central Luzon accounts for 14 percent of the Philippine economy or some P2.2-trillion as of 2016.

Sabariaga said that there is such an enormous revenue base in the region excluding underground economies.

"With that kind of revenue potential, if you can just tap four percent of that P2-trillion, that is a lot of revenues," Sabariaga said, as the BIR is only collecting 1.5 percent of the regional GDP.
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