IN one of his speeches and as common knowledge has it, President Rodrigo Duterte categorically stated that the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is one of the most corrupt agencies of government.
Thus, its newly-appointed Commissioner Caesar Dulay is faced with tough challenges that include not only purging the BIR’s ranks of corrupt personnel but more importantly, cracking down on tax evaders who rob government coffers. These unscrupulous individuals include owners of establishments that do not issue the required invoices or receipts for services offered or goods sold.
It’s been a month since the Duterte administration has taken over and it’s surprising that with all of the President’s bravado about his hard stance against corruption, some could afford to still continue with their old, errant ways.
At an establishment known as Cash & Carry alone, it is clear that illegal things are happening right under the noses of government authorities, particularly the BIR. Goods are being sold there without any official receipts being issued in return.
Only recently, I and my companions were able to buy thousands worth of items from the Shopper’s Variety Store. The saleslady who attended to us was rude from the start as she answered questions with just a word or two, as if their store did not need customers.
Despite the amount and number of items purchased, she also refused to separate the said items and stacked them altogether in one small bag, even if it was made clear to her that those items are going toward different destinations. She then rudely pointed to a sign in their store which says, in essence, that their cheap, disposable bags are limited. She then made it clear that it was okay with them if we no longer buy from them the next time around.
I would have just let it slide as I just left the store dismayed, but I thought, once I was out, that I was a customer and customers are supposed to be always right. And I was indeed on the right side of things at this time. So I went back to the store, returned the item I purchased and demanded my money back. Haughty as she is, the saleslady made it clear it was okay and immediately handed over my money as if they didn’t need it.
I was supposed to return all the other items when I noticed that none of the receipts -- three in all -- issued was an official one. They were all ‘hao-shiao’, the kind you get to buy in a bookstore for a few bucks. When I questioned the kind of receipts issued to me, the same lady tried to get them back from me and said they would issue another but I said ‘no’ since it would serve as my evidence in case I get the chance to raise it with some BIR authorities I may bump with.
Imagine, with all the money this establishment had been depriving government by non-issuance of proper receipts, its owners have the temerity to deny their customers even just their disposable bags? Isn’t this greediness to the max?
Tax is the lifeblood of any government. The taxes government collects are used to fund the basic needs of the nation such as education and heath care.
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). Under Section 237, such is punishable by a fine ranging from P1,000 to P1,500 and imprisonment of from two to four years. It 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 uses multiple or double receipts or invoices. The penalties carried apply to each act or omission.”
For someone who pays his taxes correctly, it is but disheartening to know that certain establishments that make much bigger money flagrantly get away with not paying the right taxes.
Easily, the operation of these kinds of establishments just translates to billions of pesos in losses in terms of revenues from tax collections. When will the BIR realize this?
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