BIR collects P1B in back taxes

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) collected P1.014 billion in back taxes from 274 commercial establishments it temporarily shut down in the first half, according to the Department of Finance (DoF).

The bureau also filed 84 complaints at the Justice department against tax-evading companies with combined unpaid taxes of P3.15 billion for January to June, DoF said in a statement on Friday, citing a report from Internal Revenue Deputy Commissioner Arnel SD. Guballa.

BIR has likewise filed 17 cases at the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) seeking to collect P1.54 billion.

The bureau shutters businesses that violate tax laws such as failing to register, issue receipts and file value-added tax (VAT) returns. Companies that understate taxable sales by at least 30% also risk being shut down.

The closure order lasts for at least five days and can only be lifted once the taxpayer has complied with its tax liabilities.

BIR collected P608 million in back taxes after shutting down 209 companies last year. It also filed 157 complaints at the Justice department for tax liabilities worth P7.5 billion, and 24 cases at the tax court for P754 million in unpaid taxes.

Among the latest operations of the bureau were in two warehouses in Pampanga province where it found P1.56 billion worth of total excise tax leakages, Mr. Guballa said.

The bureau seized a motor vehicle and 27,132 packs of illegal cigarettes without tax stamps or with fake stamps and the raw materials used to make cigarettes at the Technology Resource Center in Pampanga.

The agency also seized 2.06 million worth of fake stamps and two cigarette-making machines in a facility at the Global Aseana Business Park in San Simon. BIR uses stamps on cigarettes for which excise taxes have been paid.

BIR topped its collection target for the first half by 1.61% after generating P1.034 trillion in taxes, 8.11% higher than a year earlier. It is targeting to collect P2.081 trillion this year. — Beatrice M. Laforga

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