BIR padlocks store in NorthCot town

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/25 May) – Revenue officers in North Cotabato padlocked on Thursday one of the biggest grocery centers in Midsayap town due to its alleged failure to pay taxes amounting to P6 million.

Venerando Homez, head of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) District 108 based here, identified the store they served closure as PM Grocery Center. PM stands for Pablo Momo, the name of the owner of the establishment.

The closure order was issued by BIR Deputy Commissioner Nelson Aspe, according to Homez.

Records from the BIR showed that PM Grocery Center violated several provisions of Republic Act No. 7642, or an Act Increasing the Penalties for Tax Evasion, amending some pertinent sections of the National Internal Revenue Code of the Philippines.

According to Homez, the owner underestimated his taxable income by more than 30 percent.

Furthermore, the store issued unregistered official receipts, which is a violation of Section 9, paragraph (a) of the National Internal Revenue Code.

Also, the BIR found out that some of the issued receipts of the PM Grocery Center had no duplicates.

To sum it up, Homez said the store has to pay the government some P6 million in taxes, including penalties and surcharges.

The BIR officer explained they followed due process when they decided to padlock PM Grocery Center on Thursday.

First, he said, a revenue staff was given a 10-day mission order to check on the store. After the staff completed the job, he submitted his findings to the BIR District 108, which Homez turned over to the BIR regional office in Koronadal City for evaluation and assessment.

The owner was informed of the BIR’s findings and was given 48 hours to comply the requirements before the agency issued a closure order.

“The owner, however, seemed to ignore our warning. But still, we gave him another five days extension. He failed to comply with the requirements so we decided to padlock the store,” said Homez.

Contacted at his home in Midsayap, Momo refused to give comment about the BIR’s case.

The PM Store was the third establishment the BIR District 108 padlocked since 2009.

In 2009, the BIR issued a closure order on Manolette Bakeshop in Kidapawan City for keeping two books of accounts.

In 2010, it padlocked Jaiu Department Store, also in Kidapawan City, for violating several provisions of the Revenue Code. (Malu Cadeliña Manar / MindaNews)