BIR resumes shame campaign vs doctors

By Zinnia B. Dela Peña, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jul 17 2014 07:38 AM | Updated as of Jul 17 2014 03:38 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Bureau of Internal Revenue resumed its shame campaign against doctors who fail to pay their just share of taxes.

“After six weeks of the Bureau of Local Government Finance reviewing the performance of local government units, the BIR is back to looking into the many professionals in the country,” the government’s latest TaxWatch campaign advertisement said.

The BIR once again turned its focus on unscrupulous doctors. Out of the 1, 798 taxpayer doctors in Makati, 32.3 percent or 209 declared in 2012 income tax dues that were less than the tax liability of an average public school teacher.

According to the BIR, an average public school teacher has an annual income tax liability of P27,360. This amount is based on the average annual salary of P222,588 a public school teacher earns.

One doctor with a gross income of P3.72 million was found to have declared only P2,000 in income tax.

The ad also showed that only 36 percent of the 1,798 registered doctors in Makati submitted BIR form 1701, an annual income tax return for self-employed individuals, estates and trusts.

“When you don’t pay your taxes, you’re a burden to those who do,” the BIR again said in its latest ad.

BIR commissioner Kim Henares said doctors who don’t pay the right taxes should feel ashamed and remit the proper taxes to the government.

The BIR earlier filed a tax evasion case against Philippine Medical Association president Dr. Leo Olarte for alleged willful attempt to evade payment of income tax and value added tax as well as failure to file annual income tax returns for 2006 to 2012. He was assessed a tax liability of P2.93 million.

The filing of the criminal complaint only indicates the BIR’s seriousness in its fight against tax evading self-employed individuals and professionals.

The BIR wants to boost its taxpayer base for the self-employed and professionals segment given its low tax compliance.

The print advertisements form part of the BIR’s campaign against tax evasion, which has cost the government billions of pesos in foregone revenues.

The BIR, which accounts for at least 60 percent of the state’s total revenues, is under pressure to collect P1.456 trillion from taxes this year. The amount is 20 percent higher than the P1.2 trillion collected in 2013.