By JAY-EM SERAPION
BAGUIO CITY — City public transport operators will still have to pay a “compromise penalty” to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Cordillera after the agency’s failure to collect the quarterly income tax return (ITR) of transport operators for the past ten years.
The BIR agreed to collect penalty fine only for 2017 onwards during the regular City council session last July 9. But transport operators are asking that the 2017 penalties be junked all together.
BIR Cordillera Officer-In-Charge Atty. Antonio Jonathan G. Jaminola said that earlier his agency decided to collect a compromise penalty where public transport operators will only pay for 2016 to 2017 penalties instead of ten years. “We have been considerate enough for not filing charges against erring operators,” he said.
Rey Bacoco, president of the United Metro Baguio Benguet Jeepney Federation said that for the past ten years they have only been paying their annual ITR and the BIR has never called their attention about quarterly ITR payments.
“We only learned about the quarterly ITR this May because for the past ten years we have only been paying annual ITR,” Bacoco said.
Bacoco said they are asking for consideration because paying for penalties even for two years is too heavy for them.
“This 2018 alone already has a penalty of P1,000 for failure to pay for the first quarter, this alone is already heavy for us,” Bacoco said.
Carlito Wayas, national vice chair of Pinagkaisang Samahan ng Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (Piston) said that as a transport operator he has been following the instructions of BIR. He said that for the past ten years the BIR never called their attention for not paying the quarterly ITR.
Wayas said transport operators cannot renew their registration with the Land Transportation Office without securing clearance form the BIR. “We were able to renew our registration for the past ten years which means there was no problem because we were able to secure a BIR clearance,” he said.
Wayas said that they will not be given a clearance this year if they will not pay the penalties for 2016 and 2017. “This penalty imposition is too sudden,” he said.
Councilor Benny Bomogao said that BIR giving clearances to transport operators and not telling them they still have unpaid dues is unfair.
The council took on the issue after public transport operators complained about BIR’s penalty collections. The council scheduled another consultation on July 23 to resolve the request of transport operators. #nordis.net