Sunday, April 19, 2015

Editorial

Online Payment Of Taxes: 
More Convenient & Practical
by Ernesto T. Solidum

The Weekly Kapihan this Saturday discussed the topic, “Updates on BIR Rules and Services.” Guests at NVC Carmen Hotel are BIR agents namely: Ms. Eralen B. de Aro, Chief Revenue Officer IV, Ms. Elaine M. Tirazona, and Ms. Giselle Rose L. Rodillo, staff members.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) through a power point presentation gave a briefing on Revenue Regulation No. 2-2014 that prescribes new BIR forms for use for Income Tax Returns (ITR) and electronic filing covering the taxable year ending December 31, 2014. The ITR is due on or before April 15, 2015.

Ms. De Aro underscored that there are two (2) modes of payment under the electronic system depending upon taxpayer classification namely: e-EFPS (Electronic Filing and Payment System) and e-BIR form. Included in the first category are: Taxpayer Account Management Program (TAMP). Those required to secure the BIR-ICC and BIR-BCC, National gotvernment  agencies, licensed local contractors, corporations with paid up capital stock of P10 million and above, corporation with completes computerized accounting system, procuring government agencies withholding VAT and percentage taxes, government bidders, large taxpayers, top 20,000 private corporations and insurance companies and stockholders.

Those under 3-BIR forms are accredited tax agents/practitioners and their clients, accredited printers of principal and supplementary receipts and invoices, one time transaction (ONETT) taxpaters, those filing a “No Payment” return, government owned and controlled corporations, local government units except barangays and cooperatives registered with National electrification Administration and Local Water Utilities Administration.

Ms. Tirazona said that taxpayers excluded to file under e-EPPS or e-BIR scheme shall manually use the available printed forms, i.e. BIR Form 1700 known as Annual Tax Return for self-employed individuals, estates and trusts, BIR form 1702-RT as Annual Income Tax Return for corporation, partnerships and other non-individual taxpayers exempt under the tax code as amended (Sec. 30 and those exempted in Sec. 27 (c) and other special laws with no other taxable income, and BIR Form 1702-MX – Annual Income Tax Return for corporations, partnerships and other non-individuals with mixed income subject to multiple income tax rates or with income subject to special preferential rate.

All the above info can be sourced from their website at www.bir.gov.ph including steps on how to go online business transaction. Rationale behind the electronic filing and payment of ITR’s is taxpayers convenience and elimination of too much paperworks. However, Ms. Rodillo appealed to taxpayers to be honest and credible since taxes are essential tools for socio-economic development. Tax evaders may be fined P1,000 plus 25 percent of tax collectibles by the BIR Regional Investigation Division.

“Angat Ka Pinas” a BIR logo emphasizes united call of all Filipinos to participate constructively in nation building. The province of Aklan has a target collection goal of P1.5 billion this year.

BIR Commissioner Kim Henares has tangled with self employed professionals particularly doctors who while earning millions of pesos per year pay paupers’ tax of P35,000. Teachers on the other hand pay the above sum per year but on a salary of P21,500 a month. This is because doctors, engineers and architect do not issue official receipts in their practice of profession. The lady Chief Executive believes self employed professionals should pay P100,000 in annual taxes. Furthermore, BIR requires them to submit income tax returns when renewing their licenses.

Pres. Benigno S. Aquino III lamented that members of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and industry pay only 8 percent instead of the right amount of taxes due the government. Undoubtedly, there must be more transparency and “moto propio” to render the most accurate filing and payment. It should be remembered the BIR slapped Manny Pacquiao with P2.2 billion tax evasion case in 2012 and disgraced CJ Corona and his kin P150 million in 2013.

The Philippines has a record 40 billionaires with combined assets of $44.7 billion in 2012. Sadly, billionaires have shrewed accountants and lawyers who tend to execute fraudulent financial statements. The result is incredibly low tax payments. Here, the action must be strict law enforcement and more funding by BIR in intel operation.

Since BIR subscribes to information technology as key to better services, all business transactions whether hotels, bars, beach resorts, fastfood restaurants, supermarkets, hardware stores,  gas stations, transport operators and others must register their official receipts online to BIR. This will ensure transparency and accountability especially VAT.

St. Matthew in the gospels was a filthy rich tax collector because of his corrupt practices. His ability to show remorse and respect later on is what elevated him to be one of 12 apostles of Jesus Christ. The Philippines need more Saint Matthews who are immune to greed and lavish lifestyle. Biblical principle is that those who have more in life are expected to be more responsible for the welfare of others.

Indeed taxes are the lifeblood of the nation. It can be harsh and unforgiving but taken positively can be a source of blessings and a better life and future. This is a privilege granted only to all law abiding citizens. /MP

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