BIR urged to adopt Singapore audit scheme to eliminate graft

Published July 4, 2018, 12:03 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Jun Ramirez

Tax lawyers and accountants urged the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to adopt the Singapore formula in assessing tax liabilities of individuals and businesses to eliminate graft and corruption and collect the right taxes for the government.

BIR logo and building (Manila Bulletin file photo)
(Manila Bulletin File Photo)

The tax practitioners made the suggestion following the arrest of three BIR tax fraud investigators by National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) operatives in an entrapment operation in San Juan City after receiving marked money from the accountant of their intended victim.

Commissioner Caesar R. Dulay asked Arturo Boniol Jr., special investigator Gary Atanacio and Edgardo Javier to explain why they should not be dismissed from service after they were caught receiving about P600,000 grease money from a restaurateur in San Juan last month.

Earlier, four taxmen in Manila, Pangasinan and Negros Occidental were also caught in separate entrapment operations for extortion.

Yesterday, Dulay, acting on instructions from the Office of the Ombudsman dismissed from the service two tax examiners – AbolaisAmpa and Nora Hamalani of the Tondo-San Nicolas Revenue District Office also for extortion.

Postal system

A lawyer shared that the examination of tax returns by the revenue service of Singapore is done by sending the assessment notices via the postal system. This way, there is no personal contact between tax examiners and the taxpayer or his accountant.

On the other hand, the taxpayer sends his protest or petition for review together with all supporting documents to special tax dustbins installed in strategic locations throughout the city state like in malls.

This way haggling or fixing of the deficiency taxes can be avoided which normally starts during the preliminary conference between a taxpayer or his duly authorized representative and the tax examiners.

But several revenue district officers (RDO) and regional directors are not amenable to the proposal stressing that many Filipinos are a different breed of taxpayers, dishonest and unpatriotic.

“You have to search or look for them (taxpayers) otherwise they will ignore such assessment and collection notices,” a veteran RDO said.