BIR files charges against tobacco traders for tax evasion

By Venus H. Sarmiento, PIA 1, Pangasinan


CALASIAO, Pangasinan, Apr 15 (PIA) — The Bureau of Internal Revenue in the Ilocos has filed tax evasion charges against the so-called “tobacco cowboys” of Ilocos Sur for their alleged failure to pay at least P21 million in deficiency taxes from 2009 to 2011.

BIR Regional Director Arnel Guballa said five cases of tax evasion were filed against tobacco traders all from the province of Ilocos Sur.

These are “tobacco cowboys” for acting as middlemen between farmers and tobacco companies.

The cases were filed on April 10 for their failure to file and pay percentage, value-added and income taxes for three consecutive years.

Guballa said the respondents failed to pay deficiency taxes amounting to P21 million for taxable years 2009, 2010 and 2011.

The BIR discovered that a multi-national corporation engaged in the growing, processing and marketing of tobacco made payments for the services that the respondents rendered.

Lawyer Ronald Keirulf, chief of the BIR’s legal division said the income payments were subject to tax but were never paid by the middlemen.

Meanwhile, the BIR also filed tax evasion charges against three La Union residents for failing to pay transfer taxes of properties that they bought and sold – a violation of Sections 254 and 255 of the Tax Code.

“Whether the amount involved in tax evasion is big or small, we will file cases. We are guided by the rules and we act with due process,” Guballa said.

Revenue District Officer Erlinda Victorino of La Union said the local government unit, particularly the Provincial Assessor’s Office, has thrown its support behind the filing of charges against the alleged tax evaders.

“The La Union provincial government does not tolerate non-payment of taxes or incorrect payment of taxes,” Victorino said.

Guballa said the ‘Run Against Tax Evaders’ program of BIR is in line with the policy direction of the government to intensify tax collection from all potential industries and sectors.#