Sunday, September 2, 2012

Anemic presence of gov’t infras affects BIR in Region-1

 RDO-6 chief Beverly Milo  
 RDO-4 chief Christine Cardona 
Anemic presence of gov’t infras affects BIR in Region-1 URDANETA CITY – Most revenue district offices (RDO) of the Bureau of Internal Revenue in Region 1 are suffering a sluggish collection because government’s projects build by private contractors are bided in Metro Manila. RDO-6 chief Beverly Milo said despite the absence of a significant numbers of these contractors making public projects in the region, only a miniscule of these numbers are taxed by the BIR because they are registered in the region. Just like Milo, RDO-4 chief Christine Cardona was not able to collect the tax target given to her by the government in the first semester of this year. But unlike Milo who observed the anemic presence of Tax Remittance Advisory, Cardona said in an early interview with this paper that big businesses like Robinson and SM located in Calasiao and Rosales, Pangasinan do not pay tax at RDO but instead pay it to Manila. “Registration ng large taxpayers like Robinsons bale ang registration nila classified sila as Large Taxpayer (They are registered as Large Taxpayer),” she stressed. The only payment they make every year in the offices of the BIR that supervised them in the province is the registration fee of P500. It means Robinson Land Corporation and SM Prime Holding, Inc, the operator of the two malls; pay P500 each to RDOs 4 and 6 in Calasiao, Pangasinan and in Urdaneta City, Pangasinan every year. A congressman recently has passed a bill that would revoke this practice by requiring these businesses to pay their taxes in the place where their businesses are located and not in Manila. Among the six RDOs in Region 1 under the watch of Director Arnel Guballa, it is only RDO-5 based in Alaminos City, Pangasinan that surpassed its tax goal in the first semester of this year. Qurino Ramos , chief of RDO-5, said he breached the goal given to him from January to June by P35 million or 10.56 percent. Ramos said that RDO 4, 5, and 6 have collected P30 million, P13 million, and P37 million TRA respectively. According to Charmaine dela Torre, Assistant RDO - 4 chief ,TRA is when private subcontractors’ income tax and Value Added Tax are withheld by the government that contracted their service for a certain project. Milo, a Certified Public Accountant and a lawyer just like Guballa, said that because of the anemic inflow of TRA in the region a bigger collection activities depend on“manna from heaven”. “Some happenings may come in a regular basis, closures of business wherein the automatic payment of taxes are forced by law. Big estate taxes, one time transaction, sale of big properties.” She stressed. Milo explained that compared to the United States, taxes in the Philippines are still minimal. “Progressive ang taxation natin meaning how it depends in your ability to pay kung magkano lang talaga ang earning mo is the equivalent ng tax mo. The higher you earn, the higher your tax”. She said tax rates the Filipinos pay are in the average. A source, who asked anonymity, at the regional office of the BIR based in Calasiao said that the tax goals given to each of the six RDOs are the following: RDO-1 in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte is P960,873,000.00; RDO-2 in Bantay, Ilocos Sur is P1,086,113,000.00; RDO-3 in San Fernando, La Union is P1,447,845,000.00; RDO-4 in Calasiao, Pangasinan is P2,112,336,000.00; RDO-5 in Alaminos City, Pangasinan is P698,733,000.00; RDO-6 in Urdaneta City, Pangasinan is P997,926,000.00. All of these have a total collection of P7, 303,826,000.00 for the fiscal year of 2012 for the regional office to achieve. The national government this year has a tax goal of P1.066 trillion (Mortz C. Ortigoza).

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