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PIA Press Release
2010/12/09

Tax bureau tightens watch on large firms

Manila (9 December) -- Starting February next year, large taxpayers using sales machines, like supermarkets and shopping malls, will have to submit monthly reports to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) under Revenue Memorandum Circular (RMC) No. 92-2010.

Monthly reports under the e-Sales Reporting program, which actually started in 2005 but which was suspended that same year, will be based on receipts issued by "cash register machines and point-of-sale machines" used by cashiers in retail enterprises like malls and supermarkets, BIR Commissioner Kim S. Jacinto-Henares said in a phone interview on Tuesday.

They will be different from a summary of sales and purchases businesses submit quarterly, Ms. Jacinto-Henares clarified, saying the latter only lists "consolidated and aggregate" sales of a company.

RMC 92-2010, issued last Nov. 25, provided that these reports will be sent through the bureau's e-Sales Web-based system.

The revived requirement covers the top 1,400 corporations under BIR's Large Taxpayers Service (LTS) which account for about 60% of the bureau's total collections.

The first report, which will be for sales in Jan. 2011, will have to be submitted in February.

"This is to aid us in monitoring compliance [by large taxpayers] if they are remitting the right taxes to the government," said Ms. Jacinto-Henares.

"What companies do now is to keep a record of their sales based on receipts they issued monthly, which we can view any time we want," she explained.

"Through this program, however, they will now be required to furnish us data."

First implemented via Revenue Regulations 5-2005, the e-Sales reporting scheme mandated companies that operate cash register or point-of-sale machines to submit monthly sales reports to the BIR through electronic mail or through a facility on the BIR Web site.

The project, however, was suspended indefinitely in September 2005 via RMC 53-2005 after a prior "temporary suspension" in August that year due to "system enhancement."

Monthly reports must bear the machines' identification numbers, which companies get when they register their gadgets with the BIR. One machine corresponds to one identification number.

These reports should also indicate gross monthly sales per machine, month and year of sales reported, as well as the serial number of the last official receipt or transaction number of the last sale for the month reported.

BIR Deputy Commissioner Lilia C. Guillermo said in a separate phone interview that the case of e-sales reporting is "similar" to that of e-report card, which was "unprioritized because of more pressing matters." E-report card, which will send quarterly updates on tax payments to LTS members, will be revived on the second half of 2011 after being halted two years ago.

Ms. Jacinto-Henares said the revival of the e-sales reporting scheme will first be on "pilot mode" for "a month or so," results of which will be used as "bases" for an amendment of the 2005 regulation.

Those who will fail to submit reports for three consecutive months will have their machine numbers revoked.

Sought for comment, Ma. Corazon P. Guidote, vice-president for investor relations of SM Investments Corp., said in a separate interview: "It will not have any big impact in our part. We are very transparent [with our records] and it is just a matter of doing it more regularly."

The e-Sales reporting scheme, together with e-report card, is part of the bureau's ongoing e-Tax Information System (e-TIS) that was allotted P600 million under the BIR's P5.71-billion proposed outlay for next year.

The e-TIS, which aims to upgrade and build up BIR's database, is also part of the $54.3-million the BIR got from the $434-million compact program the Philippines signed with the Millennium Challenge Corp. last September.

The planned upgrade is in an effort to boost tax collections of the bureau, which collected P670.8 billion as of October as against its P700-billion goal for that period.

Ms. Jacinto-Henares has already admitted her bureau, which accounts for about 70% of state tax collections, will not meet its P860.4-billion full-year goal. (PIA) [top]

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