GOVERNMENT agencies, state-owned corporations and city governments are among the biggest tax dodgers, according to Internal Revenue.
Those state entities had failed to remit “hundreds of millions of pesos” in taxes to the national government, Internal Revenue Commissioner Joel Tan-Torres told reporters over the weekend.
“There are several government entities that are not remitting taxes to the [bureau],” Tan-Torres said.
“Our attempts to persuade them have been futile… We will file estafa cases against them.”
He would not say which agencies faced lawsuits, but data from the Commission on Audit showed government agencies and corporations owed P18.65 billion in taxes in 2007. National Power Corp. owed more than half of the total or P10.5 billion.
The tax arrears for 2007 included P12.36 billion from government-owned and-controlled corporations, P2.3 billion from national agencies, and P1.18 billion from local governments.
The national agencies owing Internal Revenue money were the departments of Public Works (P880 million), Education (P287 million), Agriculture (P223 million), Defense (P203 million), Finance (P120 million), Interior and Local Government (P116 million), Health (P92 million) and Foreign Affairs (P91 million).
National Power Corp. aside, the other state-owned companies with unpaid taxes as of 2007 were the Philippine Gaming and Amusement Corp.(P524 million), Development Bank of the Philippines (P234 million), Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. (P213 million), Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (P204 million), and Local Water Utilities Administration (P192 million).
As of 2007, most cities that failed to remit taxes were in Metro Manila, including Manila (P200 million), Caloocan (P189 million), Quezon City (P139 million), Mandaluyong (P91 million), Olongapo (P62 million), Makati (P40 million), Calbayog (P27 million), Butuan (P22 million), Pasig (P20 million), and Cebu (P20 million).
Provinces with large unsettled tax dues were Nueva Ecija (P129 million), Quirino (P33 million), Cavite (P24 million), Abra (P21 million), Masbate (P15 million), Negros Oriental (P15 million), Laguna (P11 million), Lanao del Sur (P10 million), Iloilo (P10 million) and Zamboanga del Sur (P9 million).
The towns with large unsettled tax remittances were Mabalacat, Pampanga (P20 million); Dasmariñas, Cavite (P13 million); Narvacan, Ilocos Sur (P12 million); Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija (8 million); and Ilagan, Isabela (P6 million).
Government agencies and corporations typically withhold taxes on compensation and money payments, and are supposed to remit those to Internal Revenue.
But a Commission on Audit report showed that the amount of taxes not remitted had risen to P18.65 billion in 2007 from P14.98 billion in 2006.
Tan-Torres said his agency had received reports that the treasurers in some local government units had prepared checks credited to Internal Revenue, but the mayors refused to sign them.
“A lot of these are local executives such as mayors. We will make sure they will release the funds to the BIR,” he said. –Roderick T. dela Cruz, Manila Standard Today