|Eastern Pangasinan BIR's Top Honcho Atty. Beverly Milo|
URDANETA CITY- A top official of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) bared the difficulty of imposing correct taxes to professionals like medical doctors, lawyers, architects, and dentists.
Atty. Beverly Milo, chief of Revenue District-6 that is based here, blames the lack of manpower of the BIR to conduct surveillance operation to gauge how much these people are earning.
“Ang problema kulang sa tao. Sa dami ng doctors that you cannot actually (monitor) hindi tuloy natin ma-establish. Pero sa mga income nila from the hospitals meron na tayong PhilHealth”.
She however said out of these professionals the medical doctors are the least difficult to tax because their business transactions with patients are corroborated by data provided by the PhilHealth Insurance Corporation.
“It was attributed to their accountant, as far as they are concerned. They are not aware of the data that they were signing. Iyon ang isang dahilan na ibinigay nila na pinipirmahan nila ang financial statements. They are not actually aware of the data that has been reflected in those documents,” she explained.
She said that PhilHealth is obligated by law to file annually all the data of hospitals.
In his State of the Nation Address this year, President Benigno Aquino III deplored how these professional have evaded paying their correct taxes.
“According to the BIR, we have around 1.7 million self-employed and professional taxpayers: lawyers, doctors, businessmen who paid a total of 9.8 billion pesos in 2010. This means that each of them paid only an average of 5,783 pesos in income tax..,” President Aquino said.
He found it hard to believe that these people earned an average of P8,500 a month.
Milo said that the other reason the BIR failed to collect the proper taxes from physicians was because of the delayed issuance of the certification of payment from the PhilHealth.
She said the delay happened in the years 2007-2008.
“I am not aware if PhilHealth was able to improve the system for 2008-2009 onward. Kasi iyong ni-verify namin na tax return are referring to taxable year 2007-2010. There might have been improvement learning from that complaint coming from these doctors. With that scenario, I could not actually say these professionals coming from the medical profession intentionally under declared their taxes,” she said.
She said these discrepancies have been dealt with after the BIR and the doctors complained at Philhealth.