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No new taxes, says BIR

Manila, Philippines – The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has denied that the government is imposing new taxes, but stressed it is now collecting income and business taxes from the previously unimplemented provisions of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC).

“We are not imposing new taxes but implementing the provisions of the Tax Code,” BIR Commissioner Kim S. Jacinto-Henares said in a tax forum in Quezon City sponsored by the bureau’s Large Taxpayers Service (LTS).

Concerns that new taxes are being imposed came about after some lawyers and accountants have complained against her recent controversial rulings imposing both income and Value-Added Taxes (VAT) on previously tax-exempt transactions.

They included dues and membership fees collected from condominium and subdivision residents and members of recreational and sports clubs.

Lawyer Frederick Capitan, a tax practitioner and former head of the BIR tax fraud division, said that a “tax is a statutory liability created by law which must be clear and definite and any vague provision of the Tax Code must be interpreted in favor of the taxpayer and against the government.”

Henares said the BIR is open to suggestions and those who opposed her issuances must point specific provisions in the Tax Code granting tax exemptions, adding that “our job would be much easier if taxpayers pay correct taxes and on time.” (Jun Ramirez)