Thursday, November 24, 2011

BIR asks businessmen:
settle taxes or padlock?

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Nov. 23, (PIA) -- Authorities at the local Bureau of Inter Revenue (BIR) urge taxpayers especially those in Value-Added Tax registered businesses to pay right or be in trouble.

This as a chain of stores which boasts of at least 42 branches in the country narrowly escaped the padlock for violations against the National Internal Revenue Code.

Bohol Revenue District officer Romeo Naranjo had gathered the team set to implement a closure order for a local branch of an erring business in line with its Oplan Kandado November 21 when a new order called the operations off.

Oplan Kandado is the bureau’s program that suspends the business operations of non-compliant taxpayers as their establishments are temporarily closed if found to have violated tax laws.

“Oplan Kandado” aims to intensify the Bureau’s enforcement operations through strict imposition of prescribed administrative sanctions for noncompliance with the basic tax requirements, Naranjo explained.

Unitop General Merchandise Inc., with a branch business address at CPG Avenue here could have been closed for at least five days, had the call from BIR Central Office been 10 minutes later. 

Naranjo was prompted to initiate the closure order dated November 18, issued by BIR Deputy Commissioner Nelson Aspe against Unitop closure order, for failure and neglect to comply with the requirements set by an earlier BIR tax audit.

During a press briefing following the aborted closure, Naranjo said Unitop, with its main store located in Valenzuela, Metro Manila immediately sent representatives to BIR to rectify their deficiency at the exact moment BIR Bohol was gearing up for the operation.

Had the Unitop move to correct the deficiency came an hour too late, the closure order could have been served and the store already starting to show promise with pre-holidays buy could be losing greatly as it would be with its 41 other branches whose closure was set to be implemented Monday.

According to the BIR here, Unitop has received a five day VAT Compliance Notice dated September 29 but has not properly acted upon the notice.

Although information about the store’s violations were sketchy, policies under BIR Revenue Memorandum Order (RMO) No 3-2009 says that the Internal Revenue Commissioner can suspend business operations on certain grounds.

Pursuant to the provisions of the RMO, business operations can be suspended or temporarily closed for failure to issue receipts or invoices by a VAT-registered or registrable taxpayer; failure to file a VAT return; understatement of taxable sales or receipts by 30% or more of the correct amount in the case of VAT-registered or registerable taxpayer or failure  to register.

It adds, the closure of a business establishment shall last for a period of not less than five (5) days, and shall be in force until the violation is rectified by the concerned taxpayer.

But, just as Unitop escaped by the whisker, BIR Bohol reiterates to businessmen: settle your taxes or get padlocked and lose greatly. (30)

Anti-rabies ordinance says…
Harboring strays obliges
One‘s ownership duties
By: Rey Anthony Chiu

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Nov 23, (PIA) – Harboring a dog, even if one does not admit ownership of the pet makes him liable for any problem the dog could cause while in his “possession”.

Atty. Abeleon Damalerio explained this at the recent Kapihan sa PIA set to discuss the intricacies of the provincial ordinance that puts a mandatory registration and vaccination of dogs in a bid to account all dogs and cearly draw the line between legally owned dogs and strays.

Damalerio, who did rounds of information dissemination and paralegal trainings for the Bohol Rabies Prevention and Elimination Program (BRPEP) said that according to the ordinance backing BRPEP, even if one is not a registered owner of a dog, as long as witnesses can establish the connection between him and the dog, then ownership can be ascribed to the one who feeds the dog.

With the contentious issue on dog ownership now becoming an integral part of the provincial ordinance seeking to contain the threat of rabies spread here, legal minds have said that proofs leading to the establishment that one is harboring a stray dog also effectively transfers the responsibilities of a real dog-owner.

The issue also came after the BRPEP mandates all dog owners to register and have the dog vaccinated while continuing effective control of the pet through leashing or containing the pet in a secure location.

The ordinance also pegs registration fees to be collected during the registration, an amount, which would be shared by the provincial, municipal and barangay rabies councils to ensure sustainability.

The ultimate goal is to attain vaccination of at least 70% of dog population for consecutive years and control contamination for an over-all aim of achieving herd immunity from rabies for the whole island, says Dr. Stella Marie Lapiz.

Those dogs that could not be registered and thus, not vaccinated would be treated as strays and as the law prescribes, these strays would be placed in dog pounds and eliminated in the manner according to law.

Several dog owners who keep more that one head but can not afford according the dog the proper treatment often neglect their pets which also force these animals to sill out of the compound and seek for food.

Usually, a dog that finds a hospitable house where food is available stays within the vicinity of the one harboring it.

If for instance, that dog is involved in a biting incident, according to law, the presumed dog owner is obliged to report the case to the rabies watchers, subject the dog to 14 day monitoring and pays for the medical bills of the victim, Dr. Lapiz, explaining the ordinance, said. (30)

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