No More Publishing Of Top Taxpayers

MANILA, Philippines - The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has decided to stop the old practice of releasing the names of the country's top corporate taxpayers to avoid possible complication and embarrassment in the future.

It had been the policy of the agency to give the names of top taxpayers to the media to encourage others to emulate them, declaring correct earnings and paying the right taxes.

Usually, the BIR publishes their names at this time just as the annual filing of income tax returns (ITR) starts. The deadline for filing ITRs is on April 15.

BIR Commissioner Kim S. Jacinto-Henares ended the practice in order not to put the BIR and the taxpayers themselves in an embarrassing situation.

Henares said that there were instances in the past that some of these firms were required to pay huge deficiency taxes after being named as top taxpayers.

Other revenue officials said that some of them may even qualify in the intensified Run-After-Tax-Evaders (RATE) program for deliberate presentation of inaccurate information.

In previous years, the BIR also published the names of top individual taxpayers, but the policy was stopped after a number of them complained of being the target of kidnap-for-ransom syndicates.

Others simply felt embarrass when they saw their names published in dailies.

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