BIR now going after accountants


After filing tax cases against doctors and lawyers, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has now trained its sights on accountants.

Emelino Maestro, a certified public accountant, was charged by the BIR on Thursday with tax evasion for  alleged failure to  pay close to P7 million in income and value-added taxes four years ago.

The BIR filed the case at the Department of Justice, which will determine if there is enough evidence to prosecute the matter in court. It has previously filed tax lawsuits against lawyers and doctors.

BIR Deputy Commissioner Estela Sales said the tax bureau would now be training its sights on accountants and other “tax practitioners” who had been remiss in paying correct taxes.

“This is a fair warning to all accountants. You should walk the talk and practice what you preach,” Sales said at a news briefing.

Sales said Maestro, owner of ETM Tax Agent Offices, was the first “tax practitioner” sued by the BIR for  direct violation of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997.

“In the past, we only charged accountants for colluding with their clients. This is the first time that we filed a case against an accountant for willful attempt to evade or defeat tax,” Sales said.

Tentative ITR

As a “tax practitioner,” Maestro, of Sampaloc, Manila, has been conducting lectures and doing tax consultancy for taxpayers, including private companies, she said.

Sales said the bureau had already stripped the tax agent of his accreditation to represent taxpayers in the BIR.

Tax investigators found that Maestro failed in his promise to amend his income tax return (ITR) for 2007, which he submitted on April 14, 2008, Sales said.

Instead of filing an ITR, she said Maestro submitted a “tentative” ITR, which did not contain his sources of income.

She said the document only contained the note: “This is a tentative return. Final and adjusted return including tax-based financial statements shall be filed as soon as they became available.”

Since then, Sales said Maestro had failed to provide the necessary documents and comply with the BIR rules.

Sales said Maestro owed the government P5.7 million in income tax and P1.61 million in value-added tax (VAT), including surcharges and interests.

“He willfully evaded the payment of the said deficiency taxes through the fraudulent scheme of filing a tentative annual income tax return… with no entries thereon,” Sales said.

She said the accountant’s failure to submit an ITR “resulted in the nondeclaration of revenues and thus, nonpayment of taxes.”

The BIR also added a rice trader to its growing list of alleged delinquent taxpayers.

It sued Gerardo Teves, proprietor of GT Trading, for supposedly failing  to pay over P136 million in income and value-added taxes in 2009.

Originally posted at 02:47 pm | Thursday, October 13, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    “Sales said the BIR has filed 72 tax cases since President Benigno Aquino was sworn in last year.” 

    filing a tax case is one thing, actually collecting those taxes is another, and the latter should be the yardstick of the BIR’s performance and not the number of cases that you filed.

    • Anonymous

      Prosecution of erring taxpayers is part and parcel of the BIR’s collection process.  Filing of cases for tax evasion and other violations of our tax laws is being resorted to by the BIR with the end in view of collecting the tax that should have been paid to the government had not the taxpayer resorted to illegal means to defeat the payment of the correct taxes due.  Hence, it is not accurate to say that the number of tax cases filed may not be used as a yardstick in measuring the performance of BIR. Eventually, if BIR wins these cases, the same will translate to additional revenue collections.  Thank God we have a very sincere and hardworking BIR Commissioner Kim Henares who I believe is really serious in enforcing our tax laws and sending dishonest taxpayers to jail.

  • Cathy Besa

    haha… kapwa ko away ko na ang tono ng BIR… sige nga… sino mas magaling lumusot… Knowing my fellow accountants, debit credit lang yan… at ikupit ang taxes… anyways, galingan niyo BIR… kung ibubukas niyo lang ang mata ninyo im sure you can catch them… lalo na sa big companies… dami nakatago sa mga books na kung ano2 na account na dapat income na noon pa pero nakalodge lang dun para hindi ma tax…

  • sampalok kid

    file tax evasion to your ex-BIR officer who have retired super rich with their families. Also file tax evasion cases to our barangay kapitan, konsehal, mayor, tongressmen, board members, governor and senador na wlang hanggang kapanyarihan sa bansa. Pulis, Military, BOC, COA and DPWH official din at mga families nila kasama na ang mga kabit/s nito   

  • Saul

    ay sus! bakit ba kung saan2x tumutingin ang BIR?meron mga negosyante na gusto mag bayad ng tamang buwis, pero anong ginagawa nila?hindi tinatangap!gusto babaan muna yung ibabayad na tax!para mapilitan mag bigay sa kanila..tsk tsk..only in the philippines..pakapalan na lang talaga ng mukha..mas maraming nakatago sa books mas tuwang tuwa mga taga BIR..hehe

  • Pedro Gauluit

    Sige, kaso lang nang kaso. Basta ba siguradong mananalo para mabawasan ang mga mandaraya.

  • Anonymous

    I find it ironic that Mr. Emelino Maestro, a Certified Public Accountant, long-time tax consultant and a self-proclaimed crusader against corrupt BIR Examiners, was charged with tax evasion.  From what I know, he regularly conducts seminars on tax-related matters and he is also an author of various books mostly dealing with tax accounting. He also has a website which caters to taxpayers who are encountering problems with BIR assessments wherein he offers his services as a tax consultant. On his website, he exhorts taxpayers to pay the only the correct taxes due to the government.  Thus, his being charged by the BIR for tax evasion really came to me as a surprise.  Apparently, the BIR has a case against him based on the fraudulent tax returns that he filed.  Its quite interesting to get his side of the story because it could only mean two things: Either the BIR is simply harrassing him due to his public crusade against allegedly corrupt BIR examiners or he is merely trying to project to the public that he is an upright person but in reality, he does not practice what he preach. So which is which?

  • Mad Filipino

    In the meantime, the biggest tax evaders of all — we know who they are — continue to evade taxation, and are in fact happily gloating in their public positions and occasional TV appearances in spectacular logic-defying moro-moros dubbed “in aid of legislation.”

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