Internal Revenue bureau files 74 tax evasion cases worth P3.5B

TAXPAYERS line up at the Bureau of Internal Revenue office in Intramuros, Manila, April 18, 2022. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ RUSSELL PALMA

THE BUREAU of Internal Revenue (BIR) on Thursday filed 74 tax evasion complaints totaling P3.5 billion against several companies before the Department of Justice (DoJ).

“We want to remind the public to make sure that we pay our income tax returns correctly, especially since it is almost tax filing season,” BIR Commissioner Romeo D. Lumagui, Jr. told a news briefing.

He said most cases covered private companies and people with large tax liabilities.

Last month, the agency issued a memo that required Filipinos to file their value-added tax returns quarterly instead of monthly.

The 74 complaints were distributed across 11 revenue regions, the BIR said in a separate statement, with Makati accounting for 10 tax cases, Caloocan City with nine and Cavite, Batangas, Mindoro and Romblon with six.

The initiative is part of the tax agency’s Run After Tax Evaders (RATE) program, which requires revenue officials to go after delinquent taxpayers and help in their prosecution, the BIR said.

The BIR said in September it had filed 78 tax complaints involving P2.25 billion in the first eight months of last year.

“We would like to remind tax evaders that the BIR is serious in pursuing its enforcement activities on a national scale,” Mr. Lumagui said. “Let this serve as a warning to taxpayers who intend to fraudulently evade payment of taxes that they better file and pay the correct taxes.” — John Victor D. Ordoñez