• BIR has P27M not collected from regions

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    The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has P27.49 million representing unremitted collections of its tax collectors in several regions, state auditors said.

    The observation was made in the 2014 Management Letter on the audit of the BIR by the Commission on Audit (COA).

    “Management failed to recover a total of P27,494,396.04 which represents unremitted collections of RCOs [Revenue Collection Officers] in RROs [Revenue Regional Offices] 1, 4, 6 and 7 who were either re-assigned, retired, dropped or dismissed from the service,” the auditors said.

    An RCO is a personnel of the bureau who is authorized to collect internal revenue taxes.

    Former RCOs in Revenue Regional Office (RRO) 4 have unremitted collections totaling P4.75 million, one of whom was administratively charged of serious dishonesty and grave misconduct in 2012 and was suspended, according to COA.

    “After serving the suspension, the subject RCO has assumed office with the position of Administrative Officer of RDO [Revenue District Office] No. 18, Olongapo City on June 3, 2013. Two RCOs went on AWOL [absent without leave]and were dropped from the rolls,” the auditors said.

    Meanwhile in RRO 6, eight RCOs who were already reassigned or transferred within the said RRO 6 have undeposited collections totaling P389,897.54.

    “Over a year after they transferred, the balance of their account did not register any movement,” the auditors said.

    “Likewise, a total of P14,016,081.83 recorded under due from officers and employees consisting of unremitted collections of 11 RCOs in various RDOs of RRO 6 and cost of unaccounted documentary stamps by the Administrative Officer in RDO 34 remained in the books from two years to over five years,” they added.

    Various RCOs in RRO 7 who are no longer in the service also have unremitted collections totaling P8.337 million, according to COA.

    “These collectibles are all past due having been outstanding for over five years,” the auditors said.

    “In addition, a total of P2,100,193.02 arising from cash shortages established by Management in the account of six former RCOs of RRO 1 remained in the books for more than five years and had been part of the Management Letters from 2008 to 2013,” they said.

    Also, the auditors noted that the P2.1 million was reported under the account Due from Officers and Employees even when subject accountable officers were no longer in the service.

    They then recommended the BIR, which agreed, to “[r]equire the accountable officers who are still in the service to settle immediately and without delay their cash shortages/unremitted collections.”

    The bureau was also told to require the RCOs of RRO 6 to deposit the balance of their accountabilities unless they can prove through reconciliation with the Finance Division that the reported balance was already deposited.

    “Consider the filing of criminal charges and other legal remedies, as warranted, against the accountable officers who failed to return and/or deposit their unremitted collections considering that the act committed constitutes malversation of public funds defined and penalized under Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code,” the auditors further recommended.

    In the Management Letter, they cited Paragraph 2 of COA Circular No. 90-329.

    The said circular states that “[t]o ensure that these findings of shortages are pursued vigorously up to their desired conclusion, the government agencies concerned are hereby advised to initiate immediately the filing of the appropriate criminal proceedings against the defaulting accountable officers by transmitting the complete records of the case to the Ombudsman.”

    REINA TOLENTINO

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