BIR cracks down on ‘fixer syndicate’, safeguards tax integrity

Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Romeo D. Lumagui Jr. has issued a stern warning to taxpayers against engaging with fraudulent “fixers” after dismantling a syndicate involved in a PHP3.6 million extortion racket.

The group was apprehended on April 12, 2024, for preying on taxpayers and falsely promising to resolve their tax issues using forged connections with high-ranking BIR officials.

In a recent crackdown, the syndicate—comprised entirely of private citizens—was found to be using counterfeit signatures of top BIR officials, including those of the BIR Commissioner and the Deputy Commissioners of the Operations and Legal Groups, among others.

These forgeries were used to offer unauthorized “processing of documents,” “extensions of compliance,” and even the “fixation of transfer” between Revenue District Offices.

“The arrest of this syndicate of fixers serves as a reminder to all taxpayers to avoid dealing with these groups and to always verify the authority of any person in dealing with your tax obligations. We urge the public to report to the BIR these individuals/groups. We will help you entrap and arrest them,” Lumagui said in a press conference.

The BIR has emphasized that its processes are transparent and fully regulated, negating the need for intermediaries. The agency has issued adequate guidance, including revenue memorandum circulars and orders, to assist taxpayers directly.

Under Lumagui’s leadership, the BIR has consistently addressed corruption, pursuing a rigorous program of Integrity and Professionalism.

Earlier incidents, including the February 2024 arrest of a BIR employee for extortion and the May 2023 legal actions against another for manipulating sales machines, underscore the BIR’s commitment to eradicating corrupt practices within its ranks.