Media outfits told: Report candidates’ ad expenses

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The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is requiring all media outfits to immediately submit reports of national and local elections candidates’ commercials and advertisements expenses.

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“In line with the bureau’s efforts to effectively monitor and determine compliance by political candidates and their donors/sponsors, and pursuant to Section 5 of the Tax Code of 1997, as amended, this Revenue Memorandum Order is being issued to provide the guidelines and process of reporting paid campaign promotions contracted through media outfits, such as, but not limited to, television and radio commercials, print ad or publications and online advertisements, of candidates in the May 9, 2016 National and Local Elections,” Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares stated in the RMO.

The newly issued RMO is in connection with a recent BIR reminder that only those donations/contributions that have been utilized/spent during the campaign period as set by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) are exempt from donor’s tax.

The regulation covers all media outfits, whose services have been secured and paid to promote individuals and party-list groups who are candidates in the elections and who shall submit information relative to the promotions to the BIR.

The bureau said the report shall cover all paid promotions reckoned from three months at the start of the campaign period until the end of the campaign period as set by the Comelec for national and local candidates.

The report, it said, shall be accomplished in accordance with the prescribed format and shall contain a declaration under oath duly signed by the authorized representative certifying as to the completeness and veracity of the data/information contained there.

It shall be submitted simultaneously with the soft copy of saved/stored in a Digital Versatile Disk-Recordable (DVD-R).

The authorized signatory to the report and the DVD-R label shall be as follows: Sole proprietor, in case of sole proprietorship, or his/her attorney-in-fact evidenced by a notarized Special Power of Attorney (SPA) issued for the purpose; and any of the corporation’s principal officers duly authorized through a board resolution issued for the purpose.

The BIR said the report and the DVD-R shall be submitted together not later than 15 days from end of campaign period, or until May 22, 2016, to the appropriate Revenue District Office (RDO) where the subject media outfit is duly registered, or to the Large Taxpayers Division (LTD-National Office/Makati/Cebu), for those duly registered with the Large Taxpayers Service (LTS).

A fine of P1,000 will be imposed for each failure to submit within the prescribed period.

Media outfits that failed to comply would also be included in the priority audit program of the concerned investigating Revenue Office.

“The payment of the appropriate penalty shall not relieve the media outfit from the submission of the prescribed report. The BIR shall enforce appropriate measures in order to ensure full compliance with the provisions of this order,” the BIR said.

MAYVELIN U. CARABALLO

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