Accountants declaring zero income tax due singled out by Finance Dep’t

Posted on April 21, 2016

MORE THAN one in every 10 accountants in the National Capital Region declared zero income tax due in 2014.

BW File Photo
In its latest Tax Watch advertisement, the Department of Finance (DoF) focused on “questionable” tax declarations made by accountants, bookkeepers and auditors in the region.

A total of 1,944 accounting practitioners filed income tax returns for the year. But 17% or 338 declared a monthly gross income of less than P13,890, the same amount received by an administrative assistant.

Another 11% or 214 filers declared no tax liabilities.

In the advertisement, the DoF cited even “more questionable” declarations. For instance, a certain accountant with more than P1 million in earnings paid P25 income tax due for 2014.

“When you don’t pay your taxes, you’re a burden to those who do,” the Finance department noted. “Everyone of us can be nation builders.”

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) accounts for around 70% of the national government’s revenues. For this year, the agency is tasked to collect P2.025 trillion to fund a P3.002-trillion spending plan.

The bureau’s actual collection last year increased 7% to P1.433 trillion. The amount, however, settled 14% below its P1.674-trillion revenue target for the period.

The DoF has advocated for the easing of the country’s bank secrecy laws to allow the BIR to run after tax evaders and subsequently increase its collection.

The publication of Tax Watch advertisements forms part of the government’s efforts to increase tax compliance.

The Finance department earlier flagged questionable declarations made by lawyers in Quezon City, Makati City, Cebu City and Davao City for 2014.

Of the total 1,522 lawyers who filed tax documents in the four cities, almost a tenth reported zero income tax due that period. -- Keith Richard D. Mariano