BIR files P3.15-billon worth of cases vs 'tax cheats'

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has filed several complaints against suspected tax evaders before the Department of Justice (DOJ) involving billions of pesos in estimated tax liabilities in the first half of the year.


In a report submitted to the Department of Finance (DOF), BIR Deputy Commissioner Arnel Guballa said the bureau field 84 cases before the DOJ against suspected tax evaders in January to June 2021.

Guballa’s report, which was submitted to Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III, stated that the complaints involved about P3.15 billion worth of potential tax revenue.

He added that the BIR is also pursuing 17 cases before the Court of Tax Appeals as of end-June to collect an estimated P1.54 billion in total tax liabilities under its Run After Tax Evaders (RATE) program.

Moreover, Guballa said the bureau padlocked 274 commercial establishments under its Oplan Kandado in the first semester for various tax code violations, which resulted in P1.014 billion collection of back taxes.

In addition, the BIR official said the agency seized last July thousands of Relx and Snowplus++ heated tobacco and vape products being sold in several establishments, branches and kiosks around Manila, particularly in several major shopping malls.

According to Guballa, these seized heated tobacco and vape products were found untaxed.

Likewise, Guballa said the BIR confiscated from a warehouse in Pampanga a total of 27,132 packs of cigarettes either without internal revenue stamps or with fake stamps, along with a motor vehicle, and raw materials and chemicals used for cigarette production.

Another warehouse in San Simon, Pampanga yielded 2.06 million pieces of fake internal revenue stamps, two cigarette-making and packing machines, and raw materials and chemicals, he said.

“The estimated total excise tax leakage from both warehouses is P1.56 billion,” Guballa said.

In the first six-months of the year, the BIR, which contributes about two-thirds to government coffers, had collected P1.034 trillion, exceeding its tax goal of P1.018 trillion by 1.6 percent.

The end-June tax haul is also higher by 8.1-percent compared with P956.4 billion in the same period last year.

Last August 2, Dominguez said the BIR has no room to fail in raising much-needed revenues this year.

Dominguez said the government’s main tax agency should “go for the gold” by surpassing its P2.08 trillion collection target this year.

“There is no room for our revenue efforts to fail,” Dominguez said during the BIR’s 117th anniversary. “To win this battle for our economic recovery, everything depends on the Bureau’s success in raising much-needed revenues.”