|BIR Region-1 Director Guballa|
BY MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA
CALASIAO – The director of the Bureau of Internal Revenue in Region-1 lamented the sluggish tax collection because of the absence of major projects by the national government in the first semester of 2011.
LawyerArnelGuballa explained that unlike the tax collection in industrialized urban areas, BIR in the region depends primarily on the taxes by the regular tax payers.
“In the provinces, we rely on TRA (Tax Remittance Advisory) only. If there is no project, what can you expect in remote areas? What can you collect? There are no businesses there expect simple trading, sari-sari (store),” he said.
The BIR gets taxes from these projects through the TRA and the Local Government Units that automatically deduct the income tax and the Value Added Tax of the private contractors who construct these government funded projects.
Guballa compared the tax office’s performance last fiscal year whenit was a recipient of multi-billion worth of pesos of government projects.
Some of these projects were the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Express Way, dikes in Rosales town, re-regulating pond in San Manuel town, and the P220 engineered sanitary land fill in Urdaneta City.
The government has implemented the last tranche of its P72.11 billion stimulus package in December 6 this year. It started only to implement the package last October 2011.
He said however that he was happy about the performance of his office that oversees six revenue districts in the four provinces of Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte, La Union, and Pangasinan.
The records given to this paper by the BIR stated that as of January to October 2011 BIR Region-1 has a cumulative/comparative collections of P5,133,967,196.86 while it collected in the same period last year P4,792,378,465.49 or an increase of more than P341 million or 7.13%.
Meanwhile, Guballa disagreed that taxpayers should be taxed more through their remittances to the Social Security Service, Government Service Insurance System, and PhilHealth.
“Patibanamaniyan, ita-tax?” he said.
He said that the Department of Finance should enlist an independent economist to study industries that could be taxed more, and those that could be given a moratorium.
He wished that his observation could be adopted as the policy of the government.