BIR hopes TRAIN law will encourage more small businesses to pay proper taxes

UNTV News   •   January 12, 2018   •   29665


MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) admits having difficulty in determining if small and medium enterprises are paying proper taxes.

According to the BIR, they can ensure that employees are paying proper taxes as it can be done automatically, unlike those who are self-employed or those with businesses.

“But the self-employed pay voluntarily, we relied on voluntary filing and payment,” BIR Asst. Commissioner Atty. Marissa Cabreros said.

However, with the implementation of the tax reform law, the BIR is confident that many self-employed will pay their taxes.

Based on the TRAIN law, small medium enterprise owner and the self-employed have the liberty to choose the manner in which they pay their taxes.

Under the tax reform, all self-employed and businesses earning below P300-million yearly should pay an 8 % tax, or through a graduated income tax rate.

“Your gross receipts is 8%, it’s easier. You should file. You will not worry if you will collect it and keep your gross receipts. Another option is the gross receipts you collect, and it has deduction,” Cabreros said

The BIR said the process has been easier under the TRAIN law that’s why they are expecting more tax payments.

For Maricar Cruz, who owns a laundry shop, she is happy with the tax reform the government implements. She vows to always pay her taxes on time.

“The 8% tax is okay. I hope it could help for the progress of the country,” Cruz said.

However, Laban Konsyumer President Vic Dimagiba said although the process has been simplified, small medium enterprises cannot hugely benefit from the tax reform law.

“They should pay VAT that’s for sure. They can no longer benefit. They have additional payments. They will pass on to their customers all the increases in fuel and electricity and other hikes,” Dimagiba said.

The BIR said everyone might feel burdened because of the tax reform, but notes that many will benefit in the long run.

The agency said additional taxes collected from the tax reform will be allocated to the projects of the government that will further improve the Philippine economy. – Mon Jocson | UNTV News & Rescue

P60-B released to cash transfer beneficiaries as of December 2020 — Landbank

Robie de Guzman   •   April 29, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) has already released P60.36 billion in unconditional cash transfers (UTC) as of December 2020 to beneficiary households of the Duterte administration’s social mitigation program under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.

According to LANDBANK president-CEO Cecilia Borromeo, these disbursements were from the funds for the UCT program released from March 2018 up to December last year.

She said that from March 2018 to December 2020, a total of P22.53 billion was disbursed to beneficiaries from the UCT Program Funds under the 2018 General Appropriations Act (GAA).

Another P23.71 billion under the fiscal year 2019 UCT Program Funds was released from July 2019 to December 2020, and P14.12 billion from the 2020 UCT Program Fund in December last year.

Under the TRAIN Law, up to 30 percent of the incremental revenues from the law is earmarked for social mitigation measures, such as the UCTs, while 70 percent is earmarked for the Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program.

Republic Act (RA) No. 10963 or the TRAIN Law, which also slashed personal income tax (PIT) rates for 99 percent of salary earners, was implemented starting January 2018.

RA 10963 benefits salary earners because the hefty cuts in their PIT tax payments translate into extra income for these taxpayers equivalent to about a one-month take-home pay.

This law also adjusted the excise taxes on fuel, which prompted the inclusion of the social mitigation program to ease the initial impact of the adjustments on the poorest 50 percent of the population.

The UCT fund transferred to LANDBANK totaled P24.488 billion under the 2018 GAA.

Another P30.488 billion and P23.298 billion were transferred to LANDBANK for the UCT program under the 2019 and 2020 General Appropriations Act (GAAs), respectively.

For 2018, the law provided a UCT of P2,400 each for some 10 million targeted households.

For the succeeding years of 2019 and 2020, each beneficiary household received P3,600.

The UCT fund for 2018 of P24.488 billion covered the P24 billion in cash grants for 10 million beneficiaries.

While P22.53 billion in UCT funds were disbursed, LANDBANK said that around P1.47 billion has yet to be distributed because it is still waiting for the submission by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) of the remaining payroll files of beneficiaries under the UCT program.

Under the 2019 national budget, the UCT fund amounted to P36.488 billion, of which P6 billion have yet to be downloaded by the Bureau of Treasury (BTr) to LANDBANK, leaving it with P30.488 billion for the implementation of the program.

Of the P30.488 billion, P23.71 billion was released to UCT beneficiaries.

About P6.29 billion in funds have yet to be disbursed, pending the DSWD submission of the beneficiaries’ payroll files.

A total of P5.5 billion of this UCT fund was transferred to the BTr on April 1, 2020, to help fund the government’s COVID-19 response programs, and was returned to the fund on December 29, 2020.

For 2020, the total UCT fund under the GAA was P36.488 billion, of which P13.19 billion have yet to be downloaded to LANDBANK.

LANDBANK said the downloaded sum of P23.3 billion covered the P14.12 billion disbursed so far to UCT beneficiaries in December last year, while P8.9 billion have yet to be released pending the submission by the DSWD of the beneficiaries’ payroll files.

BOC, BIR to start field testing enforcement on fuel products on April 26

Marje Pelayo   •   April 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) have announced their intention to begin Field Testing Enforcement activities on fuel products beginning April 26.

The testing covers gasoline, diesel, and kerosene found in warehouses, storage tanks, gas stations, other retail outlets, and in such other properties, to check if they contain the required Fuel Marker level.

Vessels, tank trucks, and similar fuel transporting vehicles will also be covered by the enforcement activities.

Under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act, petroleum products found without the Official Fuel Marker or not containing the required level of the Official Fuel Marker are subject to payment of duties and taxes, as well as appropriate fines and penalties.

The payment is without prejudice to the confiscation and forfeiture of such Unmarked or Diluted Fuel and the filing of the appropriate criminal case.

The Field Testing process will be done using Mobile Laboratory Units equipped with analyzers capable of detecting the Official Fuel Marker’s presence in any fuel sample.

The test result will be generated on-site and will indicate a pass or fail result. Products with failed results will be subjected to Confirmatory Testing in the Fuel Testing Facility.

For purposes of transparency, the owner of the fuel or his representative will be allowed to witness the Field and Confirmatory Testing.

The two Bureaus began the Transitory Field Testing activities in February this year and will continue until April 26, 2021.

Under the Transitory Field Testing, sample fuels from retail stations and tank trucks in the National Capital Region (NCR) and nearby provinces were tested to determine the marker levels in the fuel supply available in the domestic market.

The Fuel Marking Program aims to raise revenues while curbing fuel smuggling and leveling the Philippine oil industry.

Beginning its implementation in September 2019 to December 2020, the BOC and BIR marked a total of 17.55 billion liters of fuel and have collected Php171.72 billion in duties and taxes under the program.

BIR, DOF urged to extend deadline for ITR filing

Robie de Guzman   •   April 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Nancy Binay on Wednesday called on the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Department of Finance (DOF) to reconsider their decision not to extend the April 15 deadline for the filing and payment of annual income tax returns for the year 2020.

“I-extend na lang sana ang April 15 deadline, kahit na sa NCR Plus lang. We already extended last year dahil sa enhanced community quarantine. Nasa parehong sitwasyon tayo a year later, kaya hindi ko naiintindihan bakit hindi mapagbigyan,” Binay said in a statement.

BIR Deputy Commissioner Arnel Guballa on Monday said the bureau would not be extending the deadline due to the government’s need to reach its revenue targets to fund the pandemic response.

As a relief for taxpayers, Dulay said the BIR will allow the filing of a tentative ITR before the deadline and give them until May 15 to amend the returns without penalties.

If overpayment of taxes will be made on the revised ITRs, the bureau said taxpayers can either file for a refund, or choose to carry over the overpaid tax as a credit against the tax due for the same tax type in the following period.

But Binay said individual taxpayers and even micro and small businesses would find it difficult to comply, in the first place, given the restrictions on movement.

“Ang talo kasi rito iyong mga indibidwal at maliliit na negosyo na limitado ang kapasidad na kumpletuhin ang mga requirements dahil sa lockdown. So para sa kanila, walang bearing ang no-penalty amendments dahil baka mismong pag-file hindi nila magawa,” she said.

The senator also said that even corporate taxpayers would be pressed for time in adjusting their payments to the lower rates provided as relief by the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Law, which President Rodrigo Duterte only signed on March 26. The BIR released the law’s draft implementing rules and regulations on Tuesday.

Binay also stressed that a deadline extension does not mean non-payment.

“Hindi naman dahil extended ay hindi na magbabayad. Those who are able to will file and pay. Ang panawagan lang naman natin is not to penalize those who are unable to comply because of the difficulties presented by the lockdown,” she said.

Based on the BIR’s monthly collection goal, the agency aims to collect P235.237 billion in April.

The BIR said taxpayers or assigned officers can also use their electronic signatures in filing returns, attachments, and other documents needed, which will be considered as actual signatures.

It recently allowed taxpayers to file their returns and make payments anywhere, or even outside the area covered by Revenue District Offices where they are registered, without incurring penalties.

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