Proposals to Restructure Tax Bureau Hit

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SAN PABLO CITY, Laguna Field officials of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) here and elsewhere said yesterday that congressional proposals to restructure the agency will not solve the problem of graft and corruption in the service.

The same officials also warned that there will be no assurance that it will improve the administration and collection of taxes, nor it will render quality service to taxpayers.

The same doubts were expressed earlier by a senator and a former BIR deputy commissioner who said that there is no secret formula in the collection of taxes.

The two have been one in saying that if the economy is good, the government stands to collect more taxes, but if the economy is on the downswing, less taxes will be raised.

They pointed out that graft and corruption in the BIR is primarily caused by the taxpayers themselves who entice revenue examiners to accept bribes in exchange for the reduction of their liabilities.

Under the present voluntary compliance system, the taxpayers compute their tax liabilities and determine how much taxes they should pay the government.

Some taxpayers are wont, however, to offer bribes when revenue examiners uncover discrepancies on their computation, they said.

Such offers are hard to resist considering that examiners receive take-home pay much lower than what janitors and drivers get in government corporations like the National Power Corp. (NPC).

There are three bills pending in Congress that seek the abolition of the BIR and replacing the bureau with the so-called the Internal Revenue Management Authority, the Internal Revenue Commissioner, or National Authority for Revenue Administration. …