Incoming BIR chief eyes recall of LOAs

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The incoming Duterte administration targets, among others, to recall all letter of authorities (LOA) issued by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) as part of its bid to address corruption in government.

In the first day of the two-day “Sulong Pilipinas: Hakbang Tungo sa Kaunlaran” consultation workshop with the country’s business group that started here Monday, incoming Internal Revenue Commissioner Cesar Dulay said president-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s mandate to members of his Cabinet is to stop corruption, one way of which is through the reduction of processing time of government services.

In the part of the BIR, Dulay said he will heed this initially through the “recall of all letters of authority.”

”(We will also) ask RDOs (Regional District Offices) and examiners to give an account how come I hear feedback that letter of authorities can last as long as two years. We should put a cap on that period because it is an opportunity for what we call negotiation,” he said.

LOA empowers BIR’s Revenue Officer to audit a taxpayer’s accounting records to check the latter’s revenues tax liabilities. It must be served to the concerned taxpayer within 30 days after its date of issuance, otherwise it will become null and void. It can be revalidated once if issued by an RDOs or Revenue Regional Offices or twice if issued by the national office.

Dulay said he will also order the review of Revenue Memorandum Orders (RMOs) and to cut down requirements asked from tax payers.

”If we cut down requires, then, certainly processing of requirements will be cut down,” he said.

During the same event, the economic managers were asked whether they would consider the simplification of tax system for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs)

“Absolutely,” incoming Finance Secretary\Carlos Domingues said.

“BIR is looking to simplify payment of taxes and payment forms,” he added

In line with the bid to reduce processing time of government services, incoming Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, during the same event said they would really focus on lessening processing time by addressing people and processes.

“We will cloth it with technology,” he added. PNA/