• Business groups oppose BIR rule

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    Various business groups led by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), the country’s largest business organization, have opposed the mandatory submission of the Supplemental Information Return (SIR) as part of the income tax returns of individual taxpayers.

    In a joint position paper submitted to the Department of Finance and the Bureau of Internal Revenue last March 27, the groups describe the SIR as “redundant document that imposes additional burden to taxpayers.”

    “Getting such detailed information from banks will take time given the number of bank customers and the volume of transactions involved. Gathering and summarizing all the required details on the other passive income items is also a tedious process,” the groups said.

    The SIR requires taxpayers to report tax-exempt income and those subjected to withholding taxes. Income should be actual amount received, fair market value or net capital gains.

    The group called on the BIR to make the SIR disclosure in the income tax return optional starting on calendar year 2014.

    Mandatory disclosure violates the individual’s right to privacy and the Bank Secrecy Deposit Law, the business groups said.

    “Another argument against said requirement is that the needed information is already available in the BIR and can be culled …from the tax returns filed by taxpayers themselves with the BIR such as capital gains tax returns,” the group said.

    Signatories to the joint position paper were Alfredo M. Yao of PCCI, Edgardo Lacson of the Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP), Jaime Ysmael of the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX), Francisco del Rosario, Jr. of the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP), Sergio Ortiz-Luis, Jr. of the Philippine Exporters Confederation (PHILEXPORT), Tita Caluya of the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA), and Terence Conrad Bello of the Tax Management Association of the Philippines (TMAP).

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