BIR closes Santo Tomas shop for P775,000 tax liability

SANTO TOMAS--Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Revenue Region 4 (RR4) Regional Director Jethro Sabariaga yesterday led the team that implemented the closure of Matitu Enterprises, a hardware shop, for value added tax (VAT) liability amounting to P775,470.

Sabariaga led the team as they implemented the closure order under the BIR's Oplan Kandado program. The said establishment, owned by one Joseph Matitu, attempted to "evade payment of taxes by not complying with the registration requirements set forth by the National Revenue Code of 1997."

The regional director said that the taxpayer is registered in RDO 21B-South Pampanga as a Non-Vat Taxpayer. However, the taxpayer's gross sales for taxable year 2014 amounted to P9,067,310 which was also reflected in his annual income tax returns for 2014.

"The gross receipts of the taxpayer already exceeded the threshold for non-vat registered taxpayers," Sabariaga said.

Sabarriaga said that surveillance of possible delinquent tax payers is currently ongoing. He added that the Oplan Kandado aims to weed out companies that do not pay proper taxes and level the business playing field in favor of business who are compliant with tax laws.

Sabarriaga added that "Oplan Kandado" is an initiative of the BIR that aims to intensify the Bureau's enforcement operations through strict imposition of prescribed administrative sanctions for non-compliance with the basic tax requirements.

As of the term of Sabariaga as regional director, the RR4 has implemented some 14 Oplan Kandado closures in the provinces under the region. In Pampanga alone, there were some 4 establishments that were closed which included shops in Angeles City.

Sabariaga said that for non-compliant establishments that were closed under the program and have yet to settle their tax delinquencies, the BIR will be filing appropriate charges in court through the Department of Justice.

The BIR has filed high profile cases under its Run after Tax Evaders (RATE) Program against five businessmen in RR4, most of which are businessmen doing business in Pampanga. He added that once tax delinquencies have reached the RATE level, delinquent tax payers would still suffer criminal liability even if they opt to settle accounts while the case is ongoing.

"There will still be more establishments that will be closed," Sabariaga assured as the BIR RR4 offices have been diligent in looking into the records.

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