Henares: BIR ad on tax evading doctors not insulting
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Philippine Star) - March 4, 2014 - 10:12am

MANILA, Philippines - "Bato-bato sa langit, ang matamaan huwag magalit."

This was the statement of Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Kim Henares as she defended the agency's latest tax campaign advertisement that recently raised eyebrows after appearing in the broadsheets.

The latest controversial print ad showed a teacher carrying on her shoulders a doctor who paid lesser taxes despite having higher income.

In a statement reported by media outfits, the Philippine Medical Association (PMA) criticized the BIR for its "unfair" print ad as it supposedly stereotyped doctors as tax evaders.

But Heneras said they are not singling out Filipino doctors since the print ad pertains to all professionals that do not pay the correct amount of taxes.

"The whole ad is really talking about those who are not paying the right taxes [who] should be ashamed or embarrassed to those people who are paying the right taxes. That's the whole message," Henares said in an interview on ANC's Headstart on Tuesday morning.

Henares added that the BIR ad is "not insulting" since "it's just making a statement of fact."

"There's a saying 'Bato-bato sa langit, matamaan huwag magalit.' If you're paying the right taxes then it's (print ad) not alluding to you. If you're not paying the right taxes then it's talking to you," Henares said.

The BIR chief said aside from the print ad with a doctor and a teacher, there are other ads from the agency which showed an accountant, a chef and an online seller.

The latest BIR print advertisement revealed that a teacher had paid P221,694 in taxes from her annual salary of P852,169.

On the other hand, the doctor, who earned P1.07 million, had paid only P7,424 in taxes.

Henares said the figures are from real income tax returns.

"When you don't pay your taxes, you're a burden to those who do. Do your share," the ad's tagline said.

In an infographic released last year, the BIR revealed that 54 percent of 2,031 self-employed accountants, doctors and lawyers registered in BIR Revenue District Offices 47 to 50 paid less than P35,000 in taxes in 2012.

In contrast, a public school teacher earning P21,500 monthly paid P35,952 in taxes every year, according to the BIR data.

Henares reminded everyone that regardless of profession or status, the BIR will pursue tax cheats.

"Whoever you are, you have to pay taxes. And we will collect from you," Henares said. "I don't compromise with anyone." -Louis Bacani

BATO BIR BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE BUT HENERAS COMMISSIONER KIM HENARES HENARES LOUIS BACANI PHILIPPINE MEDICAL ASSOCIATION REVENUE DISTRICT OFFICES TAXES
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