MANILA
BULLETIN: BIR TAGGED AS 'NATIONAL BULLY'

A solon chided BIR Commissioner Kim Henares for acting like the “national bully” after she issued BIR Revenue Memorandum Circular 20-2013 that Rep. Ridon claimed to have virtually blocked educational institution from enjoying the tax exempt benefits under the Constitution. An opposition lawmaker has come to the rescue of the country’s private educators by labeling the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) as a “national bully” in an alleged bid to cover up its shortcomings in meeting collection targets. Kabataan Partylist Rep. Terry Ridon chided BIR Commissioner Kim Jacinto-Henares for requiring educational institutions to get tax-exempt certifications before they could be granted the benefit guaranteed by the Constitution. “The BIR should stop acting as the country’s national bully and focus instead on its massive collection shortfall in the billions of pesos,” said Ridon, a member of the progressive Makabayan bloc in the Lower House. Henares has recently issued BIR Revenue Memorandum Circular 20-2013 that Ridon claimed to have virtually blocked educational institutions from enjoying the tax exempt benefits under the Constitution.


MANILA, DECEMBER 30, 2013 (MANILA BULLETIN) by Ben Rosario -A solon chided BIR Commissioner Kim Henares for acting like the “national bully” after she issued BIR Revenue Memorandum Circular 20-2013 that Rep. Ridon claimed to have virtually blocked educational institution from enjoying the tax exempt benefits under the Constitution.

An opposition lawmaker has come to the rescue of the country’s private educators by labeling the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) as a “national bully” in an alleged bid to cover up its shortcomings in meeting collection targets.


BIR, Kim Henares- (Photo by Ali Vicoy)

Kabataan Partylist Rep. Terry Ridon chided BIR Commissioner Kim Jacinto-Henares for requiring educational institutions to get tax-exempt certifications before they could be granted the benefit guaranteed by the Constitution.

“The BIR should stop acting as the country’s national bully and focus instead on its massive collection shortfall in the billions of pesos,” said Ridon, a member of the progressive Makabayan bloc in the Lower House.

Henares has recently issued BIR Revenue Memorandum Circular 20-2013 that Ridon claimed to have virtually blocked educational institutions from enjoying the tax exempt benefits under the Constitution.

Ridon insisted that the memorandum is unconstitutional because it threatens to remove the tax-exempt status of schools merely in the event of failure to secure a certification from the BIR.

“Clearly a mere memorandum cannot remove the status of exemption granted under the 1987 Constitution. Thus, the memorandum not only threatens students with higher tuition and school fees in the coming years but the actual closure of their schools,” he said.

The new tax directive has been questioned before the Makati Regional Trial Court that swiftly issued a temporary restraining order enjoining BIR from implementing it.

Ridon lauded the RTC resolution as he vowed to fully support the protest of educators against the memorandum.

“We most certainly hope that this is not another of the high-profile shame campaigns of the BIR to blunt its institutional failure to meet its collection targets. No less than the COA made this report despite the shaming of celebrities like Rep. Manny Pacquiao,” he said.

Earlier, Judge Maximo de Leon of Makati RTC Branch 42, granted the TRO applied for by the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines which also contested the legality of the BIR directive.

CEAP said RMO No. 20 “contravenes the spirit and the letter of the 1987 Constitution when it imposes additional conditions upon the tax exemption” granted upon non-stock and non-profit institutions.

Article IV, Section 28 of the Constitution provides: “Charitable institutions, churches and parsonages or convents appurtenant thereto, mosques, non-profit cemeteries, and all lands, buildings, and improvements, actually, directly, and exclusively used for religious, charitable, or educational purposes shall be exempt from taxation.”

The Catholic school group pointed out that the 1987 Charter does not require schools to secure a BIR certification to support their “tax exemption” privilege.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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