BIR padlocks coffeeshop in Davao for under-declaration of income

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 30 January) – The Bureau of Internal Revenue in Region 11 closed on Tuesday Café Demitasse, a homegrown coffeeshop in Davao City, for alleged under-declaration of income during the first half of 2017.

Rodrigo Rivamonte, revenue district officer of east Davao, told reporters Tuesday that Café Demitasse, located on F. Torres St. here, was registered with BIR 11 as non-value added (VAT) or percentage tax payer when its sales indicate it could already be classified as a VAT payer.

Rivamonte said that under the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997 or the Tax Reform Act, establishments whose revenues reach P1,919,500 annually could fall in the category of a VAT payer.

“This tax payer can quality as value added tax payer, but inspite of that wala sila nagpa-register (they did not register) as VAT payer but they continue paying as a non-VAT tax payer or percentage tax payer,” he said.

In a separate interview, BIR 11 director Nuzar Balatero said the establishment’s first semester revenues reached P18 million and that they must pay at least P2.3 million to be able to reopen.

Rivamonte said they neither intend to close an establishment nor disrupt the work of its employees but that they must implement the Oplan Kandado program against erring taxpayers to generate funds needed for government projects.

He said more erring establishments face closure within the first quarter.

Balatero urged tax payers to declare the right sales and pay correct taxes to support the Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program, a five-year massive infrastructure initiative worth P8-9 trillion.

Under this program, the government lists down “high impact projects that envisioned to increase the productive capacity of the economy, create jobs, increase incomes, strengthen the investment climate leading to sustained inclusive growth.”

‘Pay correct taxes’

During the 50th Annual Installation of Officers and Board of Trustees of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCCII) at the SMX Convention Center Davao Friday, Art Milan, the group’s new president urged all businesses in the city to pay correct taxes to contribute to the country’s growth and development.

Milan said the payment of proper taxes is part of his business advocacy initiatives as president of the city’s largest business organization, while helping the government enhance the ease of doing business and improve basic infrastructure such as roads, bridges, airports and seaports.

As business leaders, Milan said they have to use their influence to promote various business advocacies, including patronizing local goods and businesses, to level the playing field and encourage more businesses to thrive.

In his term as chamber president, Milan vowed to focus on five areas to develop the business community in the city – investments promotion, people mobility and connectivity, advocacy to level the playing field, training and development, and corporate social responsibility. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)