MANILA, Philippines – An estimated 3 out of 8 doctors in Cebu and Davao declared less income tax dues than the average public school teacher, according to the latest Tax Watch ad by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
The ad said that more than half of registered taxpayer doctors in Cebu paid less taxes compared to an average public school teacher with a monthly salary of P18,549.
A teacher with this salary earns P222,552 a year and has to pay P27,360 in income taxes.
The ad cited BIR data, showing that from the 2,825 registered taxpayer doctors in Cebu, 1,467 or 52% declared 2012 income tax dues less than P27,360.
In Davao, only 19.3% or 464 out of 2,406 doctors paid less income taxes than that of a teacher.
A total of 1,150 Cebu doctors or 40.7% have no record of declaring their income tax dues in 2012, while a total of 1,307 Davao doctors or 54.3% have no record.
Next to zero, P24.50 is the lowest declared income tax by doctors in Cebu in 2012.
In Davao, P19 is the lowest declared income tax due next to zero.
The latest BIR ad is part of the tax agency’s “shame campaign” against tax cheats, which recently earned the ire of the Philippine Medical Association (PMA).
The PMA called out the BIR for releasing an ad that depicted doctors as tax cheats.
In the half-page ad released last week, a lady doctor, supposedly not paying the right taxes, was depicted riding on the shoulder of a lady teacher, who supposedly paid the correct tax.
The ad had a caption that said, "When you don't pay your taxes, you're a burden to those who do," and a link to knowyourtaxes.ph.
The PMA wanted a public apology from BIR Commissioner Kim Henares over the advertisement, but later withdrew its calls, saying they have decided to move forward with the BIR and ask for assistance in paying the right taxes.
Henares, meanwhile, has defended the ad campaign, saying it does not single out a single profession, but all those who have failed to pay the correct taxes.