Gatchalian urges BIR to intensify drive vs fake receipts
MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian on Saturday called on the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to intensify its efforts to eliminate the proliferation of “ghost” and “fake” sales receipts explaining how they negatively affect government revenues and microenterprises.
“This is a serious issue. We are talking about a trillion peso-worth of fraudulent receipts going around the system, and it’s affecting not only government collection but also taxpayers who are doing honest business,” said Gatchalian, chair of the Senate ways and means committee.
Gatchalian first raised the matter during last week’s Senate budget briefing for the Department of Finance, which supervises the BIR as one of its attached agencies.
According to the senator, “ghost receipts” are those issued either without or with fictitious underlying transactions.
“In other words, there is no actual sale that took place but a receipt was issued,” he said.
Fake receipts, on the other hand, are receipts that are not duly authorized by the BIR as they are meant to understate the sales, the senator explained.
Gatchalian said he was alerted by local business owners in Valenzuela City, where he once served as mayor, about these practices.
“[These traders] bought something but unknowingly, they were issued fake receipts. As a result, they can’t claim their input (value-added tax) because it was disapproved by the BIR,” he told the tax bureau’s officials.
The senator said the BIR needs to intensify its campaign to improve government revenue collection.
In response, BIR Commissioner Romeo Lumagui Jr. said that the estimated total value of ghost receipts issued had reached P1.3 trillion.
Based on the income tax and value-added tax rates of 25 percent and 12 percent, respectively, the government has lost at least P370 billion in revenues from using ghost receipts by various businesses, Lumagui added.
He said in June this year, the BIR filed criminal cases against buyers of ghost receipts that led to revenue loss amounting to P17.9 billion.