Sun.Star Cebu <> Wednesday, July 23, 2008
BY NANCY R. CUDIS, Sun.Star Staff Reporter
THE BUREAU of Internal Revenue (BIR) 13-Cebu City posted a 26.65-percent increase in tax collection from January to June this year compared to the same period last year.
The BIR 13’s actual collections for the same period surpassed its target by 5.80 percent.
While BIR Director Jose Tan is happy about the collection, he is also worried that BIR 13’s future collections will be affected with the increases in personal exemptions in individual taxpayers.
To help ease the impact of continuing price increases, President Arroyo signed last month Republic Act 9504 or “An Act Amending Sections 22, 24, 34, 35 and 79 of RA 8424, as amended, otherwise known as the National Internal Revenue Code of 1987.”
The newly signed law provides tax exemptions on the payments received by minimum wage earners for holiday, night differential, hazard and overtime. It also increases personal exemptions for individual taxpayers to P50,000 from P20,000 for single (unmarried taxpayers), P25,000 for head of the family and from P32,000 for married ones.
The law also provides exemption of P8,000 for each qualified dependent of up to four dependents.
“(But) our goal has not been reduced yet. Still, we hope that our tax (efficiency) trend will continue,” Tan told Sun.Star Cebu.
His office reported a tax collection of P5.053 billion for the first five months of this year, higher than P3.99 billion in the same period in 2007.
BIR 13 comprises five revenue districts covering Cebu and Bohol provinces.
BIR-Mandaue City reported an increase in tax collection by 22.51 percent, Cebu City-North by 33.11 percent, Cebu City-South by 30.65 percent, Talisay City by 31.45 percent and Tagbilaran City by 4.89 percent.
Only BIR-Tagbilaran City in Bohol was not able to meet its target of P427.89 million since it was only able to collect P367.78 million or 14.05 percent less than the goal.
BIR 13’s overall goal is to hit the P4.776-billion target but the office collected more, with an excess of P276.9 million or 5.80 percent.
Tan attributed this good performance to BIR 13’s “intensive tax information drive,” which is supported by civic organizations, such as the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry as well as heads of different government agencies.
“I solicited the assistance of Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Felix Guanzon to allow us to meet with (different) government department heads from whom we can ask data about taxpayers so that we can collect the right amount of tax. He agreed and we were able to convince the heads and get the necessary data,” said Tan.
He said the increase in collection efficiency was also the result of the tax mapping drive, which enabled BIR personnel to visit different barangays to register businesses. He also attributed the continuous audit of taxpayers, to determine if they had declared the “actual or nearly actual” amount of goods they are selling, for the increased collection.