It's an old tax law, Henares tells irate gov't workers

by Kathlyn dela Cruz, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Aug 07 2014 10:44 PM | Updated as of Aug 08 2014 06:06 PM

MANILA - Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Kim Henares said she does not understand why employees of the Supreme Court and other government workers are up in arms over an order that taxes their allowances, bonuses, and benefits.

Speaking to radio dzMM on Thursday, Henares pointed out that BIR Memorandum Order No. 23-2014, which was the subject of the protest of government workers on Wednesday, only stresses that compensation is subject to tax.

She pointed out that no new tax is being imposed on state employees since the order merely implements what is stated in the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997.

"Iyun nga ho ang hindi ko maintindihan. Ang ginagawa lang naman natin ay ini-implement natin yung batas. At ito ay matagal na hong batas," she said.

She said based on the protest of the government employees, it seems that they have not been paying the correct taxes.

"Parang ganito po yung dumadating sa amin based dun sa mga protest nila... So kung hindi ho sila nabubuwisan, sila ho yung nagva-violate ng batas. Hindi ho kami," she said.

Government workers on Wednesday said they want the high court to intervene to stop the BIR order on their taxes.

They lamented how government is after ordinary employees like them who are living on meager pay.

But Henares stressed that they are only implementing the law. "Eh nandun ho iyun sa batas eh. Ano hong magagawa natin?" she said.

The BIR chief also pointed out that they are not trying to pin down or burden workers.

She noted that they have already filed tax evasion cases against over 270 businessmen.

"Eh kaya nga ho tayo nagfa-file ng tax evasion cases 'di ba? Meron na ho tayong 270 na case na fi-nile (file). So sinong hinahabol namin? Yung mga mayayaman, mga negosyante... Yun naman po ang hinahabol namin, hindi naman po yung mga empleyado," Henares said.