Solon: Selling, buying fake receipts must be non-bailable


Posted at Feb 28 2023 03:29 PM | Updated as of Feb 28 2023 11:38 PM

MANILA — The selling and issuance of fake receipts to pad gross expense and creditable input VAT should be considered a non-bailable crime, a congressman said on Tuesday.

Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda on Tuesday said tax experts have dubbed the activity as "ghosting the tax authority." 

"In support of attaining the revenue goals of the Bureau, we will draft that measure today," Salceda told Bureau of Internal Revenue Deputy Commissioner Maridur V. Rosario, who represented the tax agency in the briefing by the Development Budget Coordinating Committee Tuesday.

"We will draft [the] legislation so that selling and buying receipts to pad your deductible expenses or input VAT is non-bailable, using the lifeblood doctrine. Tax ghosting is non-bailable," added Salceda.

Salceda said that they will introduce legislation penalizing both the buyer and seller for tax fraud.

"Right now, the tax code imposes penalties and surcharges only on those who use fake receipts for tax fraud. Section 248 of the Tax Code imposes, in addition to the tax required to be paid, a penalty equivalent to 25 percent of the amount due. That’s not a lot," he said.

"That penalty is not enough of a deterrent, and if my conversation with DepCom Rosario is right, it’s still unclear whether the seller of fake receipts and other accessories to the crime are liable."

Salceda said receipts from expenses not considered valid expenses are used to pad deductibles.

The lawmaker also said that the practice is "fairly common among family corporations, some of whom use household expenses to pad reduce their corporation’s gross taxable income."

"We will introduce both penal provisions and civil penalties, as well as tax administration provisions to make it easier for the BIR to identify which receipts are fraudulent."

Salceda also appealed to the Senate to pass the Ease of Paying Taxes (EOPT) Law so that the House can consider introducing the amendment during the Bicameral Conference Committee.

"We will still try to pass our draft of this on third reading so that the House contingent will consider the amendment as being fully supported by the chamber," he said.

"We also want to hear stakeholders so that we can calibrate countermeasures fairly. The converse of ease of paying taxes is difficulty of fraud. It should be easier to be an honest taxpayer, but it should be more difficult to defraud the government – so that the burden of funding social services does not fall too heavily on the honest citizen."

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