President Duterte said some companies are in cahoots with corrupt examiners and are not paying the right amount of taxes.
KJ Rosales/File
Duterte targets BIR next for cleansing
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - August 23, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) would be the next agency to be cleansed of corruption, President Duterte said, as he called for changes in the way corporate income taxes are assessed because of what he described as high-level corruption.

Duterte said some companies are in cahoots with corrupt examiners and are not paying the right amount of taxes. 

“The corruption is at the higher levels. I am monitoring it... well of course, it affects a lot of Filipinos. Checkpoint, Customs, BIR. So BIR is next,” the President said during the launch of a solar power facility in Romblon the other day.

He said the assessing of tax dues based on the net income of corporations has resulted in leakages that benefit corrupt BIR examiners.

“When we look at the net, net minus deduction... in the end, the examiner will tell you, that is not allowed and after some computations, the tax to be paid will be huge. The examiner will then say we will assess you at P5 million. You give us P2 million, you pay P3 million,” Duterte said.

The President said the income tax of corporations should be based on gross revenues or the total amount of sales before any deductions.

“There is no cheating when we go for the gross,” Duterte said.

“Before I leave, we will go for the gross. Examiners will question that,” he added.

Duterte previously implemented personnel changes in the customs bureau, an agency he described as one of the “most corrupt” in government. The President has ordered the dismissal of 64 customs personnel facing charges.

“I really insisted. I’m not satisfied with six or seven of you going out. I want the 64 with cases in Customs dismissed. And I will insist on that even if I have to put my foot down as President,” he stressed.

Fed up by what he described as corruption at the upper levels, Duterte promised to “change the government” before he steps down.

He said the Philippines is taking time to develop because of moneyed families who remain in power despite the changes in leadership. He said the military and the police had ousted administrations but allowed crooked politicians from rival parties to seize power.

“Why did it take so long for us to reach this kind of developmental stage? (The late president Ferdinand) Marcos was good but he allowed the family to intervene. He was really good but all succeeding, the military and police, do not be offended because it’s true,” Duterte said.

“If there are demonstrations and you know democracy is tilting one way or the other, you intervene and join the clamor for change. The problem with the military and the police, after they oust these fools, they give the power to fools from the other side. The politicians who keep on talking, they belonged to previous administrations that did not do anything, the rich,” he added.

Duterte claimed there have been instances when the debt owed by rich families were reduced from billions to millions.

“You know what I want to do before I step down? It might scare you. I will really step down. Just give me five days, do not fuck with me for one week, I will change government,” the President said.

“I won’t leave the Philippines in shambles,” he added.

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