THE Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)-Bacolod City (Region 12) has padlocked two establishments in Negros Occidental due to tax underdeclaration during the first quarter of the year, its official said.

BIR-Bacolod City, which is based in Bacolod City, covers four Revenue District Offices (RDOs) in three provinces.

In Negros Occidental, it is comprised of RDO 76 in Victorias City, RDO 77 in Bacolod City, and RDO 78 in Binalbagan town. RDO 79 covers Dumaguete in Negros Oriental and the province of Siquijor.

Thelma Milabao, regional director of BIR Bacolod City, told Sun.Star Bacolod that they closed a retail store of plastic products in Bacolod City sometime in January, and a grocery store in Victorias City last February.

“These establishments are medium scale enterprises which were found to have substantially underdeclared their respective income through our surveillance operations under the Oplan Kandado program,” Milabao said.

Substantial underdeclaration or overstatement of deductions means that more than 30 percent of the taxable sales, receipts or income was not reported and more than 30 percent of the deductions exceeded the actual deductions, the BIR said.

Under the Oplan Kandado program, business operations of non-compliant taxpayers will be suspended and their establishments will be temporarily closed if they will be found to have violated certain tax laws, it added.

“The program aims to intensify the bureau’s enforcement operations through strict imposition of prescribed sanctions for non-compliance with the basic tax requirements,” Milabao said, adding that those padlocked establishments in the province have already resumed operations after settling corresponding penalties.

Under the Revenue Memorandum Order, the closure of establishments is minimum of five days and shall be enforced until the violation is rectified by the concerned taxpayer.

After the owners paid the penalties based on the guidelines set by BIR, the BIR head office in Manila will recommend the lifting of the closure order, Milabao said.

After the deadline of income tax return filing on April 15, the BIR-Bacolod City will again conduct its regular surveillance operations among establishments in areas it covers.

Milabao added that value-added tax (VAT)-registered taxpayers found not issuing receipts or invoices, and not filing VAT return will be recommended for closure.