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Is Shoppers’ Variety Store exempt from BIR rules?

  • Written by Itchie Cabayan
  • Published in Opinion
  • Read: 297

JUST last month, I wrote about the flagrant violation of the law being committed by at least one store in Cash & Carry in Makati -- the Shopper’s Variety Store located at the second floor -- for not issuing the proper receipts for each of the goods sold. 

As I have said, failure or refusal to issue receipts or sales or commercial invoices for services rendered and goods sold is clearly a violation of Section 264 of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC).  When I mentioned Section 237, a typo error occurred, since the punishment mentioned under the said law was a fine of from P1,000 to P1,500 and imprisonment of from two to four years. It should have been P1,000 to P50,000. My apologies.
   
Anyway, said law also covers those who issue receipts or invoices ‘that do not truly reflect and/or contain all the information required to be shown therein, or those who use multiple or double receipts or invoices. The penalties carried apply to each act or omission. I bet Shoppers’ Variety Store had been doing this for the longest time.  So how many acts or omission are we speaking of?
   
After the column came out, I received text messages saying that in Cash & Carry, a lot of stores do not actually issue receipts and that the Shoppers’ Variety Store was not the only one doing it.
   
The texter, who is obviously someone from that store, apparently thought that since everybody else does it, it makes the wrongdoing right and that I should think the same way, too. The texter likewise wanted me to also train my guns on the other stores and not to single out the Shoppers’ Variety Store. It was in the said store where I and my companions were able to buy thousands worth of items without getting any proper receipt, so why should I bother with the other stores there? It was also that store which issued us ‘hao-shiao’ receipts, or the kind one can easily purchase at the bookstores for just a few bucks.   
   
Under the previous administration’s ‘Oplan Kandado,’ a program launched by the BIR in 2009, the agency closed down business establishments found to be selling goods or services without the corresponding receipts or invoices and/or found to be issuing improper receipts, or the kind that do not contain information which does not truly reflect the transactions or do not contain the required information.    
   
Countless professionals were also charged with tax evasion for failing to issue the proper and necessary receipts to their clients. With the entry of the new administration of the supposed feisty President Rodrigo Duterte, many stores continue to ignore the law, taking the issuance of receipts and invoices as a mere option.
   
As  it is, President Duterte said he does not know exactly where to get the money needed to sustain an island where all drug addicts will be rehabilitated. He also expressed the need for funds for soldier casualties.
   
Maybe this is because the present BIR seems to lack the necessary seriousness in running after tax evaders who, in turn, rob the government coffers of much-needed funds.     
   
The million dollar question is: what makes the BIR people turn a blind eye on stores like the one I mentioned? Your guess is as good as mine…

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