BIR may close 2 shops

TWO establishments in the cities of Cebu and Mandaue are at risk of getting closed this year for failing to pay the correct taxes, said the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

BIR 13 Director Hermeno Palamine said these two may be subjected to the tax agency’s Oplan Kandado if they fail to settle their obligations. He declined to name the companies and their line of business.

Oplan Kandado is an initiative of the BIR that sets administrative sanctions for non-compliance with requirements such as the issuance of receipts, filing of returns, declaration of taxable transactions, taxpayer registration, and paying the correct amount of taxes.

The local tax agency called for voluntary compliance among taxpayers of BIR 13, which covers Mandaue City, Cebu City North, Cebu City South, Talisay City, and Tagbilaran City in Bohol.

In the first semester, the tax agency reported a deficit of 17.3 percent compared with its target. It was originally tasked to collect P16.2 billion in the first six months, but it only collected P13.4 billion.

While BIR 13, according to Palamine, has been doing some tax initiatives to increase collection like tax mapping, he acknowledged that his office is understaffed.

200+ examiners needed

The local tax agency needs more than 300 examiners, but only about a hundred positions are filled. BIR officials said only few pass the tax agency’s employment exam, and those who pass prefer to work in the private sector given BIR’s salary offer.

According to Palamine, the lack of BIR personnel has kept BIR from executing all its tax drives.

The tax agency through newly-appointed BIR Commissioner Caesar Dulay met with business organizations last Friday, including the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Manila, to discuss the possibility of a tax amnesty.

The Duterte administration had earlier promised tax reforms and simplification of tax processes.

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III previously said the Department of Finance will be submitting to Congress this September a tax reform proposal that includes lowering of income taxes and a review of value-added tax (VAT) exemptions to compensate for foregone revenues.

This year, BIR is set to collect P2.026 trillion in taxes nationwide while BIR 13 is expected to collect P36.3 billion by yearend.
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