Only 30% of Filipinos are registered taxpayers – BIR

Eva Visperas - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Less than a third of Filipinos pay income tax, a high-ranking official of the Bureau of Internal Revenue said.

BIR deputy commissioner for Operations Nelson Aspe said only 30 million out of the estimated 103 million Filipinos are registered taxpayers.

Aspe noted that overseas Filipino workers and a bigger portion of individuals classified as minimum wage earners not subject to income tax.

Others who are not registered with the BIR but should pay income tax belong to the underground economy.

Aspe said the BIR is embarking on a year-long tax campaign to boost revenues and expand the tax net.

 “What is important is you register, file and pay,” he said.

The BIR now boasts of more than 86,000 classrooms built, more than 30,000 kilometers of road networks and bridges upgraded and more than 22,000 clinics and hospitals built.

The agency aims to collect P2.3 trillion this year.

“What is inspiring here is Filipinos have come of age. Their level of tax awareness is already increasing based on the response of the taxpayers” Aspe said.

Meanwhile, the BIR Regional Office here reported that collection for 2015 grew 12 percent to P9.89 billion. As of the end of February, its collection of P1.875 billion has already exceeded its prior year collection by 33.7 percent.

The BIR Regional Office here also reported that there were 14 cases submitted by its Investigation Division to its national office for filing under the agency’s Run After Tax Evaders program.

For this year, two cases have been submitted for filing with the Department of Justice and three more are ready to be filed locally with the Regional Prosecutor’s Office before April ends.

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