Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Atty. Kim Henares announced on July 21 that the BIR would require members of the "underground economy" like pedicab and tricycle drivers, market vendors and sari-sari store owners to issue receipts for products or services sold for more than P25, reports Inquirer.net.
Henares said, "The rule in the National Revenue Code says that if you sell something worth more than P25, you should really issue a receipt. That’s the law. They should comply with it." She told Unang Hirit this rule has been a law since 1998. She said the BIR would implement the policy "eventually, slowly, but not now."
With the target P860 billion in tax collection by the end of 2010 in mind, Henares said the campaign involving "informal" merchants is part of a variety of strategies in collecting tax from sections of the society. She added that the BIR is preparing an information-technology-enhanced mapping system that would monitor informal businesses and their tax-paying scheme.
In a Saksi report, Gabriela Rep. Luz Ilagan said, "The ones suggesting this move obviously do not take these modes of transport. It is almost impossible to implement. Besides, why focus on small earners to collect revenue? They should collect from big evaders." Likewise, Valenzuela City Rep. Rexlon Gatchalian and Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casino said the Aquino administration should go after big tax evaders, reports GMANews.tv.
Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga has called BIR’s campaign "anti-poor." In response, Henares told Unang Hirit, "We are not targeting the poor. We are just reminding everyone that the law exists."
Casino told GMANews.tv, "I guess these pedicab drivers and tricycle drivers will now have a new ally in Congress in the person of Mikey Arroyo ." Arroyo represents the Ang Galing Pinoy party-list, which is supposed to champion security guards, tricycle drivers, and farmers.