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Are the top 5,000 importers paying taxes, duties right? – DOF


“If you are among the top importers in the Philippines, then it follows that you would likewise be on the list of top taxpayers at the BIR," Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said during the weekend. This is why the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) will be comparing their list of top 5,000 importers and top 5,000 taxpayers to ensure that these individuals and corporations are paying both their taxes and duties. Purisima said this is to ensure that individuals and corporations settle their obligations to both agencies, and to raise government revenues. “They might be paying the BOC but avoid paying taxes to the BIR," Purisima said. As such, the finance chief said that if there is a violation at the BOC for smuggling then chances are, there is also tax evasion committed at the BIR. “The two agencies will have to closely coordinate so that we make smuggling and tax evasion unprofitable and difficult," he said. The government’s two main revenue earners are under heavy pressure to replenish state coffers. Both agencies have been filing cases against smugglers and tax evaders alternatively every week to send a message about the Aquino administration’s goal to address tax leakages. The Aquino administration has said that it has no plans of imposing new taxes, as it wants to first address revenue losses arising from weaknesses in tax administration and smuggling. Corruption and rampant smuggling have been the major culprits behind the government’s heavy revenue losses. The BIR and the BOC have been plagued by corruption for decades now due to inefficient processes, low pay of employees, and patronage politics. The new administration insists it is committed to removing corruption in the system. It has a target to contain the budget deficit at P290 billion this year and hopes to have had contained the budget gap at the P325 billion in 2010. – MRT/VS, GMANews.TV
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