Quantcast
Latest Stories

Filipino-Chinese vow to toe line on taxes

By

A day after being chided by a “shocked” President Benigno Aquino III about the incredibly low taxes—or sometimes none at all—that affluent Filipino-Chinese businessmen were paying, the leaders of the community said they would toe the line and vowed to get their members to pay the right amount in taxes.

As this developed, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) said the businessmen only had until April 15 to pay the correct amount in taxes, after which the authorities would declare “open season” on tax delinquents.

“In light of the good governance program led by our President, the federation will ask the entire Chinese community to be very diligent in paying their tax obligations,” said businessman Francis Chua, relaying a message to the INQUIRER from Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc. (FFCCCII) president Tan Chin.

President Aquino’s admonition to tax-evading Filipino-Chinese businessmen was made on Friday evening at the annual meeting of the FFCCCII in Pasay City, eliciting strained laughter, awkward reactions and knowing glances from the group’s members who were present, according to people at the event.

Chua, himself a past president of the FFCCCII, said the group—the umbrella organization of all Chinese-Filipino business associations nationwide—had been conducting regular tax seminars for its members to improve their tax compliance.

“We fully support our President in this tax campaign,” Chua said, while adding that many FFCCCII members were nonstock, nonprofit organizations that, by the nature of their activities, were usually engaged in activities that required little or no tax payments.

In his speech, President Aquino expressed shock upon learning earlier from the BIR that only 105 of the FFCCCII’s 207 member firms and organizations had tax identification numbers (TINs).

Despite 6.6 growth

“I wonder what happened to the others,” the President said. “Of these 105 firms, only 54 filed tax returns. To make matters worse, 38 firms and organizations actually filed returns with zero tax due. That means that only 16 of the 207—or only around eight percent—of your member organizations paid taxes. The 6.6 [percent economic] growth rate did not seem to affect your members.”

The President was alluding to the unprecedented growth rate achieved by the country last year.

“Of the FFCCCII’s 552 individual members, only 424 of you have TINs. Of that number, only 185 filed income tax returns, Aquino noted.

File taxes before deadline

“Of those that filed tax returns, only 14 filed returns with zero tax due,” he said. “What this means is 354 out of 552 members—or 64 percent of you—did not pay taxes for the same reasons: No TIN, no tax due or nothing filed at all.”

“In fact, of those who filed and paid income tax, many paid less than P100,000,” an incredulous Aquino said. “There were some who paid less than P1,000 in taxes,” he added.

Interviewed by the INQUIRER, BIR Commissioner Kim Jacinto-Henares said she was urging members of the business community to file the proper tax returns before the deadline next month.

“The President’s speech was an appeal to them,” Henares said. “The message basically was: We recognize that you’ve been helping the country and contributing to charitable work, but can you please pay the right taxes by April 15?”

Henares said the tax bureau was indeed looking into possible cases of tax evasion among local businessmen, but stressed that there was “no witch hunt” among specific ethnic groups.

She declined to reveal the identities of the persons or businesses being investigated or the amount in taxes they owed, saying the information was confidential.

Not a racial thing

“This is not a racial thing,” she said. “We are not targeting the Chinese-Filipino community. You’re a citizen of this country, you must pay the right amount of tax.”

The BIR chief explained that her agency was looking at data collected from all over the country in trying to detect patterns of potential tax evasion concentrated in specific groups and areas.

“We’re not targeting or threatening them. This is not because they’re the FFCCCI,” she said. “We’re looking at our database and this is what we see.”

The revenue chief also said that businessmen who underdeclared their tax liabilities in previous years must rush to file amended tax declarations before they are found out by the BIR’s examiners.

“About the past years’ liabilities, while we’re not investigating them, they can go back and amend their tax declarations,” Henares said. “They should report the right thing now. Then they can still go back to previous years to correct their returns.”

“Otherwise, they are taking a big risk. It will be the point of no return,” she warned. “Unahan na lang tayo niyan (Let’s see who gets to the other first).”


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Benigno Aquino III , BIR , Bureau of Internal Revenue , businessmen , Chinese-Filipino , Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc. , FFCCCII , Francis Chua , Tan Chin.




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Opinions split on Napoles turning state witness
  3. Delfin Lee: Blame Pag-Ibig, not me
  4. Plunder complaint filed vs PNP chief, firearms office head over license delivery deal
  5. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  6. San Juan cops fail to arrest Cedric Lee
  7. More ‘Yolanda’ bodies found
  8. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  9. Lawyer: Napoles ‘will tell all’
  10. Boy ‘sexually assaulted’ at Indonesia international school
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
Advertisement

News

  • What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  • Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  • 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  • Napoles surgery in Makati hospital successful
  • Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  • Sports

  • Mixers trim Aces; Painters repulse Bolts
  • Donaire junks Garcia as coach, taps father
  • ’Bye Ginebra: No heavy heart this time
  • UAAP board tackles new rules
  • Baguio climb to decide Le Tour de Filipinas
  • Lifestyle

  • Entering the monkhood a rite of passage
  • Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  • Wanted: Beauty queen with a heart that beats for the environment
  • Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  • Life lessons I want to teach my son
  • Entertainment

  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • In love … with acting
  • From prison to the peak of success
  • ‘Asedillo’ location thrives
  • Business

  • Philippine Airlines to stop shipment of shark fins
  • PH banks not ready for Asean integration
  • Stocks down on profit-taking
  • Banks allowed to use ‘cloud’
  • SMIC to issue P15-B bonds
  • Technology

  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  • What Went Before: Manila bus hostage crisis
  • Obama arrives in Tokyo, first stop of 4-nation tour
  • Believe it or not: Filipinos love US more than Yanks
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement