Import map project to strengthen tax collection

By Joann Santiago

Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima has directed the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Bureau of Customs to immediately complete the import map project to further strengthen tax collection.

In a briefing at the Philippine International Convention Center Monday, Purisima said the project aims to check on the tax payments for goods from the time they were imported until they get to the consumers.

“That will improve our capability to catch those who evade taxes,” he said.

Under the program, BOC needs to identify its top 5,000 importers and link the data with the BIR, which in turn needs to identify its top 10,000 tax payers.

Purisima said: “What I’ve asked BIR is to audit the companies that sell directly to ultimate consumers and then just go to their accounts payable register.

“That means tracking where they (companies) buy their goods until it reach the ports, so that we have a map of how these goods were imported and sold.”

The government has a P1.56 billon revenue goal this year and the Finance department bids to achieve this through better tax compliance among others.

Specifically, BIR’s collection goal this year is P1.066 trillion, the first time it was given its trillion-level revenue target; while Customs target is P347.07 billion.

As of last July, BIR’s revenues went up by 13.7 percent to P604.7 billion from year-ago’s P531.79 billion.

Also, Customs collection rose by 12 percent to P167.82 billion from the P149.84 billion same period in 2011.

Relatively, Purisima said the Aquino administration is continuously addressing smuggling in the country.

He stressed that one “should not look at the absolute value (of collected smuggled goods) but the rate of change” in the BoC’s collection.

He also said the national single window program of the Philippines, which is being finalized, will enable the government to link with the same program of other countries.

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