THE Bureau of Internal Revenue filed last Thursday 74 cases of tax-evasion complaints simultaneously nationwide amounting to nearly P3.58 billion against erring individuals and corporations.
In an interview, BIR Commissioner Romeo D. Lumagui told reporters that 53 out of the 74 tax evasion complaints were filed before the Department of Justice (DOJ) amounting to P3.56 billion while 21 cases were filed in various regional offices amounting to P15.9 million.
Among the cases filed against erring corporations and individuals are willful failure to pay taxes, willful attempt to evade or defeat the payment of taxes due, willful failure to pay/remit its income tax liabilities.
Also charged were those who filed their tax returns without corresponding payment.
“We filed this simultaneously nationwide because we wanted to convey a message to the public that, in the coming filing season this April, they need to file their returns properly and pay the corresponding taxes to avoid criminal charges,” Lumagui said.
He said some of the respondents are oil companies and cigarette manufacturers.
The complaints, according to Lumagui, also cover tax liabilities of erring individuals and corporations in the past years.
Lumagui said the filing of cases was made under the BIR’s “Run After Tax Evaders,” or “Rate,” program. Rate requires revenue officials and employees to investigate criminal violations and assist in the prosecution of criminal cases.
THE BIR chief has been leading the filing of charges against delinquent taxpayers as part of his call for the intensification of enforcement activities of the bureau in order to encourage the voluntary compliance of taxpayers.
Among the revenue regions and large taxpayers division that filed tax evasion cases were Revenue Region 8A-Makati City (four cases amounting to P1.72 billion); Revenue Region 5-Caloocan City (nine cases amounting to P827.1 million); Revenue Region 8B-South NCR (seven cases amounting to P413.7 million); Revenue Region 17-Butuan City (three cases amounting to P149.1 million); Revenue Region 9A-CaBaMiRo (Cavite-Batangas-Mindoro-Romblon) with six cases amounting to P115.2 million; Revenue Region 9B-LaQueMar (Laguna-Quezon-Marinduque) with five cases amounting to P114.1 million; LT Enforcement Division-National Office (one case amounting to P96.6 million); Revenue Region 7A-Quezon City (four cases amounting to P50.4 million); Revenue Region 13-Cebu City (three cases amounting to P44.8 million); Revenue Region 16- Cagayan de Oro City (three cases amounting to P16.6 million); and, Revenue Region 6-City of Manila (two cases amounting to P13.9 million).
Meanwhile, Lumagui said the BIR is now preparing the documents for the filing of charges against illicit cigarette traders and those involved in selling fake receipts.
Last month, the BIR chief led the agency’s first-ever nationwide trade enforcements against traders selling illicit cigarettes.
The operation, which covered wholesalers and retailers in 21 provinces, 69 cities and municipalities nationwide, yielded millions worth of untaxed, fake and smuggled cigarettes.