CEBU CITY, March 21 (PNA) — Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad said the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) was able to collect only P11.3 billion in taxes from the estimated combined annual income of more than P500 billion of self-employed professionals like doctors, engineers and lawyers last year.
Abad said this is the reason BIR Commissioner Kim Henares want to collect at least P200 billion from self-employed professionals this year.
“If you go by the rosters of actually practicing professionals, at the minimum, we should be collecting P500 billion a year. So, Commissioner Henares hopes to collect P200 billion this year. And that P200 billion will translate into more programs and projects for our social protection, social services, infrastructure and economic expansion,” Abad said.
The professional tax has become controversial in the past weeks after the BIR published in the newspapers that public school teachers are paying more taxes than doctors and lawyers.
Abad spoke Thursday before the full council meeting of the Regional Development Council (RDC) 7 at the City Sports Club in Cebu City.
Abad also said the sin tax collected from tobacco, cigarettes and wines and liquor business, will all go to health services.
“In the sin tax reform, we originally projected that in 2013, we would collect P35 billion. We actually collected P52 billion. So, there was a P17 billion windfall from that. So, it is not true that if you impose the tax, there was a contraction and reduction in the industry,” Abad said.
He said what happened was that there was not much change.
“We even went far beyond our target,” Abad said. (PNA)