Tax amnesty for delinquent accounts to start April 24

Marje Pelayo   •   April 10, 2019   •   8460

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) issued on Tuesday (April 9) the official guidelines of the much-awaited tax amnesty program in the country.

Signed by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Internal Revenue Commissioner Caesar Dulay, Revenue Regulations (RR) 4-2019 lays down the application process of tax amnesty for delinquent accounts up to year 2017.

Applications will begin on April 24, or 15 days after it was published in a newspaper of general circulation on Tuesday.

Republic Act (RA) No. 11213 or the Tax Amnesty Act of 2019 offers delinquent taxpayers one year to file their request for amnesty signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in February this year.

It covers all national taxes including capital gains tax, documentary stamp tax, donor’s tax, excise tax, income tax, percentage tax, value-added tax (VAT), and withholding tax.

Under the law, varying rates apply per classification of delinquencies charged to the basic tax.

Delinquent accounts and tax assessments that have become final and executory will have an amnesty rate of 40% of the basic tax assessed.

Tax cases that have been decided by the courts will have to settle 50% of the basic assessment.

Accounts with pending criminal cases can choose to settle by paying 60% of the assessment.

In the case of withholding agents that withheld taxes but did not remit them to the BIR, they will pay 100 percent of the basic tax assessed.

Unremitted withholding taxes or non-remittance of personal income tax deducted from employees must be paid in full or 100% of the basic tax assessed.

RR 4-2019 requires applicants for the tax amnesty on delinquencies to submit the following:

  • Tax Amnesty Return
  • Duly-validated Acceptance Payment Form
  • Certificate of Tax Delinquencies/Tax Liabilities issued by the concerned BIR offices
  • A copy of the assessment found in the Final Assessment Notice/Final Decision on Disputed Assessment (when necessary).

Applicants must check first the procedures for application and the specific BIR offices where each taxpayer classification can be filed.

According to RR 4-2019, taxpayers who avail of the amnesty “shall be considered settled, and the criminal case in connection therewith and its corresponding civil or administrative case, if applicable, shall be terminated.”

“The taxpayer shall be immune from all suits or actions, including the payment of said delinquency or assessment, as well as additions thereto, and from all appurtenant civil, criminal. and administrative cases, and penalties under the 1997 Tax Code, as amended, as such relate to the internal revenue taxes for taxable years that are subject of the tax amnesty availed of,” it further said.

“The availment of the tax amnesty on delinquencies herein provided and the issuance of the corresponding Acceptance Payment Form do not imply any admission of criminal, civil or administrative liability on the part of the availing taxpayer,” it added.

During its one-year implementation, the amnesty delinquencies is expected to generate P21.26 billion in revenue. – Marje Pelayo

Manila declares tax amnesty

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Manila local government on Thursday (September 23) announced a tax amnesty from October through December.

Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso signed Ordinance No. 8773 granting amnesty on all delinquent business taxes, real property taxes, regulatory fees and other service charges.

The mayor said the ordinance was signed as “the current pandemic has brought about unexpected socio-economic challenges to the country.” He said that the pandemic situation makes it difficult for taxpayers to settle their obligations.

“As a result, many businesses have remained closed, further causing the loss of jobs and opportunities. Amidst the health and safety challenges is the struggle to keep one’s livelihood afloat,” he said.

Under the ordinance, Domagoso said tax amnesty shall be granted to the following:

1. Persons who own, operate or are engaged in any business enterprise within the City of Manila

2. Persons who own or administer real property declared for the first time subject to back taxes

3. Persons who own or administer any delinquent real property with or without notices of collection

4. Persons who have violated traffic and parking rules imposed under the Manila Traffic Code and the No Contact Apprehension Program

5. Persons who have pending local tax cases before any judicial, quasi-judicial, or administrative body concerning local business taxes, fees and charges or real property taxes

The general tax amnesty program, Domagoso said, shall take effect on October 1, 2021 until December 29, 2021 only. AAC

BIR to probe tax compliance of initial 250 social media influencers

Robie de Guzman   •   September 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is set to launch an investigation into the initial list of 250 social media influencers to check on their tax compliance.

In a report to Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, the BIR said that Letters of Authority (LOAs) for the conduct of investigation have been issued to certain social media influencers found to be “top earners.”

The BIR said that social media personalities who earn money from their posts on digital media are classified as self-employed individuals or persons engaged in trade or business as sole proprietors.

Their earnings are generally considered as business income as defined under BIR’s Revenue Memorandum Circular (RMC) No. 97-2021 issued last Aug. 16, the bureau added.

“We encourage them to register, and then we have the profiling of over 250 personalities. We will do the investigation so that they would pay the necessary corresponding tax on their earnings,” BIR Deputy Commissioner Arnel Guballa said in his report to Dominguez.

Under RMC 97-2021 issued in August, social media influencers should pay income tax and percentage tax or, if applicable, the value-added tax (VAT), as mandated under the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC) and other existing laws.

Based on the Circular, social media influencers are defined as those who derive their income from the following sources:

  1. a) You Tube Partner Program;
  2. b) sponsored social and blog posts;
  3. c) display advertising;
  4. d) becoming a brand representative/ambassador;
  5. e) affiliate marketing;
  6. f) co-creating product lines;
  7. g) promoting own products;
  8. h) photo and video sales;
  9. i) digital courses, subscriptions, e-books;
    j) podcasts and webinars

The Circular states, among others, that social media influencers who receive free goods in exchange for promotions must declare as income the fair market value of these products.

Income treated as royalties from another country, including payments under the YouTube Partner Program, shall likewise be included in the computation of the gross income of the socmed influencer and shall be subject to tax.

“It must be emphasized that the BIR also has the power to obtain information from foreign tax authorities pursuant to the Exchange of Information (EOI) provision of the relevant tax treaties. The BIR has the means to verify their income as it is clothed with a special power to obtain information from its treaty partners. The BIR may safely rely on the data provided by its treaty partners to establish the influencer’s tax liability,” RMC 97-2021 stated.

“The social media influencers are, therefore, advised to voluntary and truthfully declare their income and pay their corresponding taxes without waiting for a formal investigation to be conducted by the BIR to avoid being liable for tax evasion and for the civil penalty of fifty percent (50 percent) of the tax or of the deficiency tax,” it added.

In order to avoid the risks of double taxation, the BIR advised social media influencers receiving income from a non-resident person residing in a country, with which the Philippines has a tax treaty, to inform the latter that they are residents of the Philippines, and are, therefore, entitled to claim treaty benefits provided under the relevant tax agreement.

The Circular said social media influencers who “willfully attempt to evade the payment of tax or willfully fail to make a tax return, to supply accurate and correct information or to pay tax” shall, in addition to the payment of taxes and corresponding penalties, be held criminally liable under the Tax Code.

Social media influencers na hindi nagbabayad ng buwis, tinutukoy na — BIR

Robie de Guzman   •   August 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Sinimulan na ng Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) ang proseso sa pagtukoy sa social media influencers na maaaring kasuhan dahil sa hindi pagbabayad ng buwis.

Ayon kay Atty. Marisa Cabreros, ang deputy commissioner for legal group ng BIR, bahagi ito ng mandato ng ahensiya na habulin at papanagutin ang mga tax evader.

Ani Cabreros, ang sinumang kumikita sa pamamagitan ng alinmang social media platforms ay obligadong magpa-rehistro at ideklara ang kanilang kinikita sa BIR.

Sakop nito ang mga gumagawa ng online content o nag-eendorso ng mga produkto gaya halimbawa ng mga vlogger o Youtubers.

“Basta lahat po ng ating mga nasa online ang means of kita, kumikita sila binabayaran sila sa kahit anong klase ng serbisyo na ginagawa online… Lahat po ng taxpayers, indibidwal at korporasyon na tumatanggap ng income, in-cash or in-kind na ginagamit ang media site or any other platform at any activity perform on those sites and platform basta kumikita sila,” ani Cabreros.

“Because of it sila po ang tinutukoy natin na kailangang magrehistro, yun nga lang po ang mga famous as example are our Youtubers, yung nag-live streaming sa Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tiktok, Reddit, Snapshot and all other platforms po,” dagdag pa niya.

Pero paglilinaw ng BIR, hindi lahat ng social media influencers ay pagbabayarin ng buwis.

Aniya, ang small time social media influencers na may annual net income ng hindi hihigit sa P250,000 ay exempted sa pagbabayad ng tax alinsunod sa Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Law.

Kaya wala umano silang dapat na ipag-alala at sa halip ay kinakailangan lamang na magparehistro at ideklara ang kanilang negosyo.

“Kaya yung sinasabi ng iba na maliit lang kami wala naman kaming gaanong kinikita pa, wala po silang dapat ikatakot,” ani Cabreros.

Babala ng BIR, maaaring maharap sa kaso ang sinumang social media influencer na hindi magdedeklara ng kanilang kita o kaya ay hindi nagbabayad ng tamang buwis.

Maaari din silang kasuhan sa hindi pagpapa-rehistro, hindi mag-iisyu ng resibo at tax fraud.

Posibleng makulong ng hindi bababa sa anim na taon at pagmultahin ng hanggang P10 miylyon ang sinomang hindi magbabayad ng tamang buwis. RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Marvin Calas)

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