BIR chief vows further widening of tax base

BUREAU of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Caesar Dulay vowed to set in motion a more stringent audit program to widen the tax base, which grew 5 percent in 2018.

In his speech during the national tax campaign kickoff at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City Friday, Dulay said 96 percent achievement of their 2018 collection goal is “still healthy.”

Last year, the agency collected PHP1.961 trillion, 4 percent short of its PHP2.043 trillion goal but 10.15 percent higher than its PHP1.779 trillion revenue collection in the previous year.

Dulay said the major goal that has been set for the bureau this year is the intensification of the audit program. “We also would like to expand the tax base,” he said, noting the 5 percent expansion last year.

“While we grew by 5 percent in the previous year, we have a lot of work to do,” he said, noting that this improvement “has called our attention that there are tax payers that we need to check.”

“So the tax payer verification drive would be pursued continuously,” he added.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, during the same event, lauded the BIR’s performance last year.

He attributed the higher collections to administrative reforms, increased availability of electronic payment options, the Run After Tax Evaders and Oplan Kandado Campaign and the broadening of the tax base. “This year, even if the goals are set higher, I am confident the Bureau will achieve a higher attainment rate,” he said.

The finance chief also stressed greater vigilance against illicit manufacturing and trade. He said a Strike Team has been established by the BIR to ensure that illicit trade would be countered.

“Under the Duterte administration, illicit cigarette manufacturing will not be tolerated and tax evaders will be hounded ceaselessly,” he added. (PNA)