BIR asks Lifestyle staffer to pay P11M in ‘back taxes’
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 03:04 AM June 12, 2011
A lifestyle staffer, one of the youngest on the team, got the shock of her life when she received a letter from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) demanding that she pay P11 million in taxes.
The letter, signed by Commissioner Kim S. Jacinto-Henares, accused the staffer of discrepancies in her tax returns, and bore a list of the staffer’s supposed customers.
The customer list included Red Ribbon Bakeshop, Golden Arches Development Corp., Unilever RFM Ice Cream, Balikatan Property Holdings, Sta. Elena Properties, Goulds Pumps Philippines, and other companies and people the staffer has never even heard of.
But the staffer has had no business dealings with these companies—she’s just a regular employee—and she’s not even a registered seller.
In an attempt to clarify matters, the staffer tried calling the BIR’s South Makati office to look for Gloria Beltran, a name indicated in the letter, but the person who answered the phone kept saying, “Ma’am, lumabas po siya.”
Frustrated, because she had been given a deadline and was threatened with “administrative, civil, and/or criminal action” but couldn’t find anyone at the BIR to talk to, she contacted her lawyer. Her lawyer visited the BIR’s South Makati office and was asked to submit a letter to the BIR’s head office because “the letter came from them.”
The staffer has since submitted an affidavit demanding that the BIR make the necessary rectification on the issue.
Is this how the BIR is planning to make up for discrepancies in its records? Chase ordinary law-abiding citizens and demand that they pay taxes for business dealings they weren’t even part of? Why not chase those who own more houses than they count? Why not run after people who buy cars like they were T-shirts? Why not check their own officers? Why harass someone whose biggest luxury is buying expensive nail polish?