The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday stopped the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) from implementing a new regulation requiring professionals, including medical doctors, to disclose their fees.
The High Court earlier ruled that lawyers are not required to issue receipts for their services.
“The court acted on the motion for leave of court to file intervention and the attached motion for intervention filed by the Philippine College of Physicians by allowing the intervention and issuing a temporary restraining order against the BIR Revenue Regulation 4-2014 in favor of doctors this time,” the SC explained after an en banc meeting.
Dated March 3, Revenue Regulation (RR) 4-2014 requires all self-employed professionals to submit an “affidavit indicating the rates, manner of billings and the factors they consider in determining their service fees upon registration and every year thereafter on or before January 31.”
Immediately, the Philippine College of Physicians and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) filed separate petitions challenging RR 4-2014 titled “Guidelines and Policies for the Monitoring of Services Fees of Professionals” for being unconstitutional.
The regulation also requires professionals to submit their books of accounts and official appointment books containing the names of their clients and the dates and time of the meetings.
Receipts are required also even in pro bono cases when no fee is charged.
Lawyers, through the IBP, said the regulation issued by the BIR and the Department of Finance “encroaches upon the court’s exclusive authority and jurisdiction to regulate and prescribe rules” for the legal profession.
“The power to promulgate rules on the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights, pleadings and practice and the law profession is lodged exclusively in the Supreme Court, not in any other agency of government, least of all the Department of Finance and the Bureau of Internal Revenue,” the IBP said.