BIR, DOJ toughen joint campaign vs tax evaders
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) are further intensifying their campaign against tax evaders in line with the government’s efforts to collect more taxes to sustain the country’s economic growth.
BIR Commissioner Romeo Lumagui Jr. met with Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla last Thursday to further strengthen ties between the two offices.
“I’ll make sure that my people are transparent and that they work with integrity,” Lumagui said.
According to Lumagui, the public needs to know that both the BIR and the DOJ are serious in their campaign against tax evaders.
Early this month, the BIR, filed 74 criminal complaints for tax evasion cases committed nationwide amounting to P3.58 billion before the DOJ.
The bureau reiterated its aggressive stance against erring taxpayers who fail to comply with the National Internal Revenue Code, as amended.
Remulla assured the public that the DOJ would work hand-in-hand with the BIR to ensure that erring taxpayers suffer the full force of the law.
Intensification of enforcement activities is one of the pillars of Lumagui’s administration.
Through the filing of cases before the DOJ, the bureau wants to show it is serious in its enforcement activities due to its positive impact on taxpayers’ voluntary compliance.
The BIR established the Run After Tax Evaders (RATE) Program to require revenue officials and employees to investigate criminal violations and assist in the prosecution of criminal cases.
In 2022, a total of 115 cases were filed before the DOJ amounting to P5.1 billion in tax liability, while 38 cases were filed before the Court of Tax Appeals amounting to P5.32 billion in estimated tax liability.
The Oplan Kandado program also enabled the BIR to collect P550 million, while the bureau’s tax compliance drive resulted in the collection of more than P250 million last year.
Lumagui said the BIR is targeting to collect P2.6 trillion in revenues this year, 11 percent higher than last year’s P2.34 trillion, amid an expectation of economic slowdown here and abroad.
Lumagui said he is confident of meeting such targets even as global and local banks are predicting a worldwide recession next year. The economic team has reduced its gross domestic product (GDP) expectation to six to seven percent this year.
To date, tax effort as a percentage of GDP is at 14.6 percent and is seen increasing to 17.1 percent by the end of the Marcos administration.