The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has filed a total of 347 complaints involving tax liabilities estimated to be worth P24.02 billion combined in 2019 before either the Department of Justice (DOJ) or the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) as part of the Duterte administration’s all-out campaign against tax evaders.
This is the first time that the bureau has filed this many complaints for tax evasion against various individuals and corporations, said BIR Deputy Commissioner Arnel Guballa during a recent Executive Committee (Execom) meeting of the Department of Finance (DOF).
In a report to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, the BIR said that under its Run After Tax Evaders (RATE) program, 309 cases for preliminary investigation were filed by the bureau before the DOJ last year for tax liabilities of various individuals and corporations estimated at P19.06 billion combined.
This is a marked improvement of 56.85 percent over the 197 cases filed by the BIR in 2018 involving some P15 billion worth of tax liabilities, Guballa said.
In the CTA, the bureau has filed 38 cases for tax liabilities worth P4.94 billion combined, or more than triple the 12 cases filed before the tax appeals court in 2018, Guballa said.
He said the cases filed before the CTA involving close to P5 billion in tax liabilities represent a 480.67 percent increase over the estimated P851.57 million in taxes that the BIR had hoped to collect in 2018 through litigation.
As of December 31 last year, the BIR has 118 tax-related cases pending before the CTA, he added.
The BIR also collected a total of P1.92 billion from January to December 2019 under its Oplan Kandado program as a result of the temporary closure of 743 establishments for various violations of the National Internal Revenue Code.
Its performance under the Oplan Kandado program in 2019 represents a 218.88 percent improvement over its 233 closures of establishments reported in 2018 and a 140.76 percent increase in collections amounting to P799.47 million during that year.
In 2017, the Duterte administration made history by collecting from errant cigarette manufacturer (Mighty Corp.) more than P30 billion for the non-payment of excise taxes and for use of counterfeit tax stamps—the biggest sum on record raised by the government from a tax settlement with a single corporate taxpayer.