TO prepare for changes in the country’s tax code, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has created a medium taxpayers’ category to boost its collection.

In an interview yesterday, BIR-13 Director Aynie Mandajoyan-Dizon said her revenue region, which covers Cebu and Bohol, recently identified the top 500 establishments classified as “medium taxpayers,” which includes mostly construction, real estate, and manufacturing companies in the two provinces.

Similarly, she said other BIR revenue regions have identified their respective top 500.

“We bracketed the taxpayers so there would be more monitoring...(The medium taxpayers) were properly and specifically identified so that we can put more efforts on it, more audit concentration on it, so we could collect more,” she said, adding that this number will eventually be expanded to 1,500.

The collection effort is expected to finance the infrastructure and social service aspirations of the Duterte administration for 2018.

Should the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) program, which is still being deliberated in Congress, pass into law, the medium taxpayers’ category may be converted into a medium taxpayers’ division, following the Large Taxpayers’ Division (LTD) format.

Those that belong to the medium taxpayers’ category are companies that pay more than 30 percent of a revenue region’s collection goal.

For BIR-13, it is tasked to collect P29.3 billion for the whole year of 2017.

As of January to September, it has collected P20.3 billion, or a 6.89-percent deficit from the nine-month period goal of P21.8 billion, but 13 percent higher than the actual collection recorded in the same period last year.

In the last quarter of the year, BIR 13 needs to collect P9 billion more to achieve the P29.3 billion goal.

“We are still hopeful because we have many deliquent accounts that we are also pursuing,” said Dizon.

In the past nine months, Dizon said there has been no big-time business transaction that had boosted tax collection in Cebu and Bohol, unlike in 2015 and 2016, when the agency collected massive amounts from the lot transactions at the South Road Properties in Cebu and the sale of Popular Feedmill Corp. in Cebu City that yielded close to P500 million in taxes for BIR-13.

Sixty-five percent of the collection from January to September came from income tax, 26 percent from Value Added Tax (VAT), six percent for capital gains tax or property tax, and four percent from percentage tax.