House committee orders BIR to check on CJ Sereno’s income tax return

UNTV News   •   February 8, 2018   •   3901

MANILA, Philippines – The Lower House wants to check if Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno has hidden wealth which can be a ground for impeachment.

The House Committee on Justice has given the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) until February 19 to finish its investigation on the matter.

During the impeachment hearing, Wednesday, the committee tackled Sereno’s alleged failure to submit her Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth or SALN for her 15 years of working as a professor at the University of the Philippines.

The law states that once a government official or employee fails to submit his or her SALN, he or she will face imprisonment of up to 5 years and fine of up to P5,000.

It can be recalled that such offense was the cause of impeachment of former Chief Justice Renato Corona.

“An investigation is the proper mode of obtaining all of this information in a comprehensive manner,” Committee on Justice Chairman Rep. Reynaldo Umali said.

“We can do the formal investigation so that we can assess whether or not there was under declaration or non-declarations of income,” BIR Deputy Commissioner for Operations Arnell Guballa said.

In Wednesday’s hearing, the House Committee confronted Atty. Michael Ocampo of the Office of the Chief Justice to justify the SC’s need to hire a consultant.

They were referring to Helen Macasaet, who Sereno hired and paid a monthly salary of 250,000.

Ocampo said Sereno chose Macasaet because of her skills and expertise in information technology.

Macasaet was the one who solved the largest database crisis in GSIS.

“I don’t receive any allowance or anything from the Supreme Court unlike most of the employees or officials of the court. So excluding all those personal expenses which are related to performing my work, I would be getting more or less a net of P80,000,” Macasaet said.

The committee targets to finish the probe and release a committee report before the end of this month.— Joan Nano | UNTV News & Rescue

BIR collects initial P356-M in tax liabilities from POGOs

Maris Federez   •   August 10, 2019

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is expected to collect a total of P356 million as taxes from the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) by the end of August, according to the Department of Finance (DOF).

According to a DOF news release, the BIR has collected an initial P186 million in withholding taxes from the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) and is getting another P170 million this month in tax payments from these businesses employing foreign nationals.

Finance Assistant Secretary Dakila Napao said that, according to a BIR report, of the 48 notices sent out by the bureau to POGOs directing them to pay the withholding taxes of their foreign workers, 22 have either replied or protested the tax assessments.

Napao said, “the BIR, though, has already collected P186 million from the notices sent out and is set to collect another P170 million moving forward. This started last month and will be collected on Aug. 10.”

The DOF said a Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) was issued requiring all foreign nationals and their employers or withholding agents to secure a Tax Identification Number (TIN) from the BIR.

This is one of the documentary requirements for securing employment permits and visas.

The BIR sees the measure as a step to ensure that POGOs pay the right amount of taxes to the government.

The JMC was signed by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Justice (DOJ), Bureau of Immigration (BI), BIR, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Department of Finance (DOF), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) last July 11.

The DOF further reports that the BIR is now working with the DOLE in developing an inter-agency database of foreign nationals working in the country to effectively monitor them and ensure that they pay the correct amount of taxes to the government.

According to the news release, a separate report to the President and the Cabinet by BIR Commissioner Caesar Dulay said the agency was only able to collect P175 million during the initial year of operations of POGO service providers in 2017.

In 2018, POGO service providers remitted over P579 million in taxes; and for the first half of 2019, they voluntarily paid P789 million. /mbmf

Gov’t starts marking of tax-paid petroleum products

Robie de Guzman   •   August 2, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The government, led by the Department of Finance and its attached agencies, Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC), on Friday started the implementation of the Fuel Marking Program.

The BOC said the program began by conducting the first live marking of petroleum products at the Seaoil Bulk Terminal in Mabini, Batangas.

The fuel marking program was first introduced by the government in 2017 in a bid to curb oil smuggling in the country.

The program aims to plug revenue leakages from oil smuggling by placing a molecular marker on imported, manufactured and refined petroleum products such as gasoline, diesel and kerosene.

Under Section 148-A of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC), as amended by Republic Act No. 10963, otherwise known as the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) and DOF-BOC-BIR Joint Circular No. 001.2019, stocktaking shall be conducted on all tax paid gasoline, diesel and kerosene stored in all depots/terminals.

The BOC said that in the next few months, random field testing will be conducted on depots, tank trucks and retail stations in order to determine the presence and dilution level of the fuel marker on fuels which are subjected to marking.

This activity will continue until the market is saturated with marked fuels, according to the bureau.

“A confirmatory testing will be conducted immediately on fuels found to be unmarked or with marker levels below the prescribed dilution level and corresponding duties and taxes will be collected from oil companies found to have unmarked or diluted fuels,” Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said in a statement.

“The implementation of the Fuel Marking Program is a milestone for the Bureau of Customs as well as the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Department of Finance, as we have painstakingly worked together in order to ensure the success of the Program.”

“With the cooperation and support of partner agencies and stakeholders, we are ready to implement the Fuel Marking program and make it work,” he added.

Last July 25, the DOF, BOC, BIR conducted a simulation of the marking and testing process in Subic Freeport Zone.

This was done in coordination with the PTT Philippines and Fuel Marking Provider: SICPA-SGS Philippines at the Philippine Coastal Storage and Pipeline Corporation (PCSPC).

Gov’t simulates fuel marking in Subic

Robie de Guzman   •   August 1, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Government agencies recently held a simulation on fuel marking and testing process in Subic, Zambales, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said.

The BOC said in a statement the simulation was conducted along with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Department of Finance (DOF) on July 25 at the Subic Freeport Zone.

𝗜𝗡 𝗣𝗛𝗢𝗧𝗢𝗦: Port of Subic, Zambales – In preparation for the implementation of the Fuel Marking Program pursuant to…

Posted by Bureau of Customs PH on Tuesday, 30 July 2019

The simulation aims to identify possible gaps and areas for improvement in the process, which will be addressed through a Customs memorandum order.

The BOC said the fuel marking process started with the doping of markers from the compartments of the truck followed by a five-minute sample field testing, including the calibration and encoding of details in the analyzer.

Announced by the government in 2017, the fuel marking program is envisioned to curb smuggling of petroleum products in the country.

The program is required on all refined, manufactured or imported petroleum products that are subject to payment of taxes and duties, according to the BOC.

It is expected to help return the revenue stolen by oil smugglers from the government.

The Bureau said the simulation was in preparation for the implementation of the program pursuant to DOF-BOC-BIR Joint Circular No. 001.2019. It was done in coordination with PTT Philippines and Fuel Marking Provider: SICPA-SGS Philippines at the Philippine Coastal Storage and Pipeline Corporation (PCSPC).

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