MANILA, Philippines - The Bureau of Internal Revenue is once again taking a closer look at income tax payments of professionals such as doctors and lawyers, as it released its latest Tax Watch ad.
The BIR said that while labor statistics show there are 3.2 million Filipino professionals, only a few made it to the BIR's list of top individual taxpayers for 2012. However, most of the lawyers and accountants on the list are also businessmen and top executives.
According to the BIR, there are 65,398 lawyers in the country but only 19 made it to the top taxpayer list.
Prominent corporate lawyer and San Miguel Corp. director Estelito Mendoza is the country's top lawyer taxpayer, with P56.59 million in income taxes in 2012. Mendoza ranked third overall among top individual taxpayers.
GMA chairman and chief executive Felipe Gozon, who is also a lawyer, ranked second among lawyers and 41st overall with income tax of P20.9 million.
TV5 president and lawyer Ray Espinosa paid P15.38 million in taxes in 2012. He left TV5 earlier this year and was appointed associate director of First Pacific.
The BIR noted among the country's 145,209 accountants, only 8 CPAs are top taxpayers.
Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) President & CEO Lorenzo V. Tan was the top accountant taxpayer with P33.16 million in income taxes, followed by TVI Resource Development president Eugene Mateo with P13.1 million in taxes.
Businessman and former Trade minister Roberto Ongpin, who is also a CPA, paid P7.4 million in income taxes in 2012.
Among the country's 176,048 doctors, the BIR said only 2 are top taxpayers -- Splash chairman and CEO Rolando Hortaleza with P12.31 million in taxes and Levi Labra with P9.38 million.
The country has 29,892 architects but the BIR noted only 4 are top taxpayers, namely Casas + Architects managing partner Carmelo Casas (P27.55 million); Bernadette Ching (P14.8 million); Henry Chua (P12.27 million); and Ayala Land executive Arturo Corpuz (P11.6 million).
In the advertising industry, there was only one ad executive in the top taxpayer list. Ad executive Gerardo Baes paid P47.9 million in income taxes, ranking fifth overall.
The BIR noted that there are no interior designers on the list of top taxpayers.
The BIR and Department of Finance earlier this year embarked on a campaign to warn professionals who do not pay the correct taxes.
The BIR had earlier showed data that while the tax payments of self-employed individuals increased by P1 billion from 2010 to 2012, the sector only makes up 6.8% of total individual income taxes. This is way below the 81.5% share of those whose taxes are automatically deducted from their salaries.
BIR data had also showed there were 402,934 self employed, business and professional taxpayers who pay an average annual income tax of P33,441.
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