Transparency among professionals needed

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The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) will soon require all professionals, particularly doctors, to post their rates in their respective offices and clinics.

 

BIR Commissioner Kim S. Jacinto-Henares explained that professionals should be transparent when it comes to their professional fees, and should not overcharge their clients or patients.

Jacinto-Henares said that the BIR received several complaints against doctors who charge additional fees every time a patient is asking for a receipt.

“Withholding tax and value-added tax (VAT) should be incorporated in the professional fee. These taxes are not on top of it,” Jacinto-Henares told reporters.

The BIR is currently monitoring these professionals and the agency will come up with the new revenue memorandum “very soon,” she added.

But while the BIR is being criticized for being too much strict on professionals, Jacinto-Henares assured that her agency is not sparing anyone in its battle against tax evasion as it is also hunting down politicians and extremely wealthy individuals.

She said that every individual who fails to pay his or her fair share of taxes will have trouble with the BIR, reiterating “there are two things certain in life; death and taxes.”

The Department of Finance (DOF), the head agency of the BIR, has already declared war against professionals and the self-employed who have been repeatedly underreporting their income to avoid paying higher taxes.

Jacinto-Henares explained that the incidence of tax evasion among professionals remained high, citing the sector comprises only 6.8 percent of total individual income taxes, way below the 81.5 percent share of those whose taxes are automatically deducted from their salaries.

Data from the Professional Regulation Commission show that there were some three million registered professionals in the country—190,000 are doctors and lawyers who earn more than salaried workers. (Manila Bulletin)