BIR relents on public posting of professional fees
Zinnia B. Dela Peña (The Philippine Star) - March 23, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has imposed new requirements for the registration of doctors, lawyers, accountants and other professionals in lieu of an earlier directive requiring them to post visibly in their offices the rates they charge to customers.

The BIR issued the new rules to appease professional practitioners who raised a howl over the agency’s measure requiring professional rates to be posted in public.

According to professional taxpayers, the posting and advertising of legal fees degrades the professional practice and puts restrictions on how professionals present their services to the public.

They said that while they acknowledge the BIR’s hardline effort to curb tax evasion, there are other available options to explore to strike a balance between the government’s campaign against tax evaders and the need to uphold the dignity of professionals.

Under the new rules issued by the BIR, self-employed professionals must submit an affidavit indicating their rates and register their official appointment books within 30 days from date of effectivity of these regulations.

The list should indicate the manner of billings and the factors they consider in determining their service fees upon registration and every year thereafter, on or before Jan. 31.

Self-employed professionals are required to register their books of accounts and official appointment books of their practice of profession before using the same. The official appointment books should contain only the names of the client and the date/time of the meeting.  They must also register their sales invoices and official receipts before using them in any transactions.

In cases when no professional fees are charged by the professional and paid by a client, a BIR registered receipt, duly acknowledged by the latter should be issued showing a discount of 100 percent as substantiation of the pro-bono service.

These new rules, the BIR said, are in line with the agency’s efforts to promote transparency and discourage tax evasion among self-employed professionals, a sector where tax evasion is believed to be rampant.

Lawyer Terence Conrad Bello, internal vice president of the Tax Management Association of the Philippines said that while the new regulations are a welcome change, they could still be difficult to implement because some professional fees are charged based on the patient or client’s financial capacity.

 

 

BIR BOOKS BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE JAN LAWYER TERENCE CONRAD BELLO NEW PROFESSIONAL PROFESSIONALS TAX TAX MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILIPPINES
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