Lower House OKs bill offering P10-M for info on tax cheats

Published August 24, 2021, 5:09 PM

by Ben Rosario

The House of Representatives has provided another way for Filipinos to earn millions of pesos even without winning a gold medal in Olympic Games.

House of Representatives plenary

On Monday, August, 23, the legislative chamber gave its unanimous nod to the final reading approval of a bill that will grant informers of tax fraud or smuggling at least P10 million in reward money.

House Bill 9306 received the ‘yes’ votes of all 212 congressmen who were present in the regular session.

Principally authored by Magdalo Partylist Rep. Manuel D. Cabochan III, HB 9306 seeks to consolidate the laws granting rewards to informers of violations of the National Internal Revenue Code and Bureau of Customs laws.

The bill received strong endorsement for approval from the House Committee on Ways and Means chaired by Albay Rep. Joey Sarte-Salceda.

Under HB 9306 an informer whose information leads to the discovery of fraud related to NIRC provisions will receive a reward of P10 million or ten percent of the revenues, surcharges or fees, and fines imposed by or collected by government, whichever is lower.

A similar bounty will be granted informants where the violator had offered to a compromise for laws violated and his offer had been accepted by the commissioner of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

A cash reward of P10 million or ten percent of the actual proceeds from the sale of smuggled and confiscated goods, surcharges, fees recovered and fine await informants for information that are instrumental in the discovery and seizure of smuggled goods by the Bureau of Customs (BOC). However, the actual reward to be given will depend on which is lower in cost.

The bill disqualifies as informer all public officials and employees and their relatives within the third degree of consanguinity or affinity.

According to Cabochan the grant of reward can be paid after revenues, surcharges fees, fines or penalties have already been recovered by government and after all reports required for evaluation of the informer’s reward have been submitted to the Department of Finance (DOF).

Officials and employees of the BIR, BOC and DOF are enjoined to protect the identity of the informer and the disclosure of information he or she has.

Cabochan said violators of this provision of the measure face a fine ranging from P500,000 to P1 million and imprisonment of not less than ten years but not more than 15 years.

The offender will also be barred from holding public office, to vote or participate in any public election.