BIR offers amnesty plan for taxpayers

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — The Bureau of Internal Revenue yesterday launched another program allowing delinquent individual and corporate taxpayers to settle or pay all their tax obligations for 2005 as part of efforts to boost collections to meet its full-year target.

Internal Revenue Commissioner Jose Mario Buñag said the tax agency would implement the Improved Voluntary Assessment Program to give taxpayers the opportunity to avail of the privileges of last priority in audit and give the government revenue collections with least administration costs.

Buñag said Finance Secretary Margarito Teves had approved Revenue Regulation 18-2006, which set the guidelines for the implementation of the program until Nov. 29. It covers all taxes for taxable years ending Dec. 31, 2005 and fiscal year ending on any day not later than June 30, 2006 as well as all prior years.

The program includes one-time transaction taxes such as estate, donor, capital gains, final withholding tax, expanded withholding and documentary stamp on the transfer, sale, exchange, or disposition of assets.

The program also covers taxpayers registered with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority and Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority who are enjoying preferential tax treatment.

He said the program also sought to maintain harmonious relation with taxpayers by minimizing inconvenience relative to investigation.

“The program gives an opportune time for taxpayers to settle their tax liabilities and enjoy a worry-free holiday season,” he said.

Buñag said taxpayers, who participated in the program, would not be audited while the ongoing audit and investigation on those who join would be cancelled.

“The suspension of audit or investigation and the cancellation of the authority to audit/investigate shall be on a per taxable year/period and on a per tax type basis or only on the kind of tax covered by the IVAP availment,” the agency said.

The bureau has launched several programs including the No Audit Program, the Enhanced Voluntary Assessment Program, and recently the One-Time Administrative Abatement Program to boost collections.

It expects to collect P675.4 billion this year or 25 percent higher than the collection of P542 billion in 2004.

The agency’s tax take rose 20.7 percent to P480.75 billion in the first nine months of the year from P398.44 billion a year ago.

To qualify in the new program, taxpayers, who inadvertently or erroneously paid their tax liabilities or failed to file income tax returns and pay taxes, must increase their payment for income tax; accumulated earnings tax; value-added tax; and percentage tax by at least 30 percent from the previous year.