BIR to tax examiners: Explain probe delays

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BUREAU of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Caesar Dulay has asked tax examiners in Manila to explain “questionable” delays in their investigation of tax cases, a source of corruption in the agency.

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In a statement, the tax bureau said Dulay had discovered that most tax examiners in Revenue Region 7, which covers Manila, sat on tax cases and did not file investigation or verification reports within the prescribed period of 180 days.

The revelation was an offshoot of his instruction to all investigating officers to submit an inventory of all outstanding Letters of Authority (LOA) and Letter Notices (LN), through Revenue Memorandum Circular (RMC) 70-2016.

Under Revenue Memorandum Order (RMO) 69-2010, reports of investigation and verification of cases covered by LOAs other than VAT claims for refund or credit shall be submitted within 180 days from the date of the authorizing document.

An initial list of 46 revenue examiners from Manila, including the top five non-compliant revenue examiners of each Revenue District Office (RDO), comprise the first batch of tax examiners who were ordered to explain their failure to submit their reports of investigation within the required period, the BIR said.

An aging of the LOAs of this group found tax cases that remained outstanding for up to 1,701 days. Seven examiners on the list have held tax cases for at least 1,000 days.

The non-compliant revenue examiners were asked to explain their failure to submit reports of investigation within three days from receipt of show-cause orders, otherwise, they will be charged with gross neglect of duty, which carries the penalty of dismissal from service, among others, the BIR said.

Delays in the investigation of cases have been a constant source of complaints from taxpayers and are said to be a source of corruption.

Dulay said other tax examiners from Manila and from other revenue regions of the BIR would also be asked to explain their long-outstanding LOAs and LNs.

He hinted that responsible officials would also be included in the order.

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