THE Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) said its Run After Tax Evaders (RATE) program filed 78 criminal complaints in the first eight months of the year, with the alleged taxes evaded amounting to P2.249 billion.

The 78 complaints are distributed across 11 revenue regions, according to the BIR’s Enforcement and Advocacy Service, with Makati City accounting for 16, Caloocan City 15, and the City of Manila 14.

The other revenue regions with charged parties were Quezon City (8); south of the National Capital Region (8); east of the National Capital Region (5); Laguna, Quezon, and Marinduque (5); Cebu City (4); Calasiao, Pangasinan (1); Pampanga (1); and Cavite, Batangas, Mindoro, and Romblon (1).

“In view of its deterrent effect on tax evasion, the RATE Program has been on top of the list in the BIR’s priority programs along with other tax enforcement activities, such as ‘Oplan Kandado’ program, broadening of the tax base and intensified conduct of audit and investigations,” the BIR said.

“By emphasizing the criminal nature of tax evasion, the BIR aims to enhance taxpayers’ voluntary compliance and promote public confidence in the tax system,” it added. — Diego Gabriel C. Robles