Tuesday, July 23, 2019

BIR open for dialog with transport groups

BUREAU of Internal Revenue (BIR) officer-in-charge Antonio Jonathan Jaminola appealed for understanding and compliance from the transport sector as well as the Baguio City Council.

Jaminola, who assumed office in April, said policies on quarterly tax payments from the transport sector have been in place since 1997 and is in the tax code.

The BIR chief faced the city council Monday after complaints from the transport sector reached the local council forcing aldermen to summon Jaminola for clarification in a bid to mediate the problem.

Transport groups have asked the city council intervention what they believe is irregular protocol by the BIR in imposing penalties over payments made last year.

Transport operators have annually paid their income tax returns as well as percentage tax through a one-time payment basis at the BIR office to which all have gotten clearances for the past years.

However, this year, the BIR informed all operators of a ruling imposing a quarterly payment but in effect is penalizing the group for the calendar year of 2016-17 despite clearances given by the BIR in the past.

A P500 per quarter penalty is being imposed by the BIR for a two-year period, drawing flak from transport stakeholders crying foul over the policy, claiming they were not informed or briefed of the mandatory quarterly payments.

Total penalties amount to P3,000 covering the two-year period which stakeholders refuse to pay alleging the impasse was the fault of the bureau.

Jaminola said he cannot eradicate the penalties but offered to lower set payments to P1,500, representing one year, explaining the bargain is the sole concession allowed within his powers.

Reynaldo Bacoco of the United Metro Baguio Benguet Jeepney Federation, who led the group to the local council, said dialog with Jaminola will be held to find the best solution for the problem.

Jaminola said he cannot answer why the quarterly ruling has not been previously implemented in the city but stressed he will work with the transport sector to find the best solution.

The City Council has asked Jamonilla to appear on the 23rd to review solutions for the transport sector.


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