BIR calls on the self-employed, small business owners & professionals to pay the correct taxes

Buwenas na ang buwis, hindi na buwisit. Commissioner Kim Henares

Did you know that a lawyer pays less taxes than his secretary? A doctor less than a nurse? That was the tweet of @perangbayan just before the joint press conference enjoining citizens to pay the right taxes.

Cesar Purisima, Secretary of the Department of Finance announced that the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) will be waging war against self employed individuals, businesses and professionals who continue to cheat the government from rightful revenues. The goal of the BIR is to increase tax effort from 12.88 % in 2012 to 16 % in 2016.

How will BIR achieve the 3.2% tax effort? Purisima says the target can be reached through “efficient income tax collections from self employed, businesses and professionals; estate taxes and import mapping.” From 2009-2012, the self employed to total individual income tax continue to go down from 8.4 % to 6.8 %. In 2011, the average taxes from the self employed, businesses and professionals amount to P33,441. In 2016, Purisima hopes to hit an average of P200,000.00. He adds that “P200,000 isn’t much for these people. It’s not enough to buy a car or travel business class. We will reach our goals by: widening taxpayer base to 1.8 million and increasing average payment to P200,000 and getting closer to collections. There are currently 1.4 million registered taxpayers who did not file their returns in 2011, out of the 1.8m total taxpayers. The 1.8 million is conservative as to the 61 million people in our country’s labor force.”

They are using information to help them in their efforts. Masbate, the second poorest area in the Philippines has a higher average collection than San Juan, Cebu or Boracay.

During their visit to a certain revenue region, they discovered that the top ten lawyers in that region had annual income tax payments that were below P 20,000. This implies that these lawyers earn even less than minimum wage. A newly hired public teacher pays substantially more than that.

Purisima asks “Who can live with the salaries these taxes imply? Some lawyers in Bacolod paid P200 for the entire year. This is not a joking matter. He then suggested to send “these professionals’ names to Sec Dinky to be included in the CCT because these salaries cannot provide for anyone.” Some doctors and dentists in Makati paid P2,000 to 3,000 income taxes. Some media practitioners in Quezon City just paid P746. Some doctors and dentists in Iloilo just paid P 817.00.

Purisima and Kim Henares visited eleven of the 19 revenue regions of the BIR over the past 2 months in preparation for the April 15 tax deadline. Henares explains that under this administration, “we have shown the blessings that come from taxes. Buwenas na ang buwis, hindi na buwisit (Taxes now redound to blessings, no longer just a burden). She will continue to work with the local government units (LGU) for business/mayor permits including the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for the list of establishments and the PRC for list of professionals.

Henares adds “there is no excuse in not paying your taxes. It is necessary for improving our country like infra such as schools. You can help even in little ways by asking for an official receipt for every purchase you make. “We are prioritizing the audit of those with ridiculously low income tax payments. Don’t wait for the BIR to catch you. Pay the correct taxes now so you can spare yourself criminal charges and contribute to our country’s progress”

Purisima says ” big time tax evaders have been freeloading on the benefits of long time taxpayers. No Pay, No K!. You want better roads, schools and less crime but you don’t want to pay for it?

“Tax evaders are free loaders. They use services that are paid by those who diligently pay their taxes. We encourage those who religiously pay their taxes to get even with those who smooch on their hard-earned money by reporting to BIR those entities that refuse to issue receipts and pay the right taxes.”

“Today, we’re drawing the line. We are taking this fight doubly serious. The government’s right to collect taxes is absolute.”

Your taxes go to better and improved social services and better infrastructure. To see where your taxes are going, just visit

Buwenas na ang buwis, hindi na buwisit.

I was unable to live stream most of the press con but here are bits and pieces. The Part 2 is mostly Q & A portion of the press conference

Part 1 (First part of the press conference. Some parts were not recorded due to poor internet connection)

Part 2 (The Q & A portion)