MANILA, Philippines — As if taunting a group of medical practitioners that already has expressed anger over insinuations that their industry is packed with tax evaders, the Bureau of Internal Revenue has released another print advertisement on doctors.
In the latest newspaper advertisement, the BIR, in proving its point, presented statistics showing anemic tax payments by doctors in Cebu and Davao.
The ad showed that out of the 2,825 registered doctors in Cebu, more than half–or 1,467–declared in 2012 income tax dues that were less than the tax liability of an average public school teacher.
According to the BIR, an average public school teacher has an annual income tax liability of P27,360. This amount is based on the average yearly income of P222,552 a public school teacher earns.
The ad also showed that another 1,150 doctors in Cebu did not declare any income tax due for the same year.
This means that in Cebu, over 90 percent of the registered doctors either did not pay income tax or paid income tax in amounts smaller than what a public school teacher should have remitted.
In Davao, the ad further showed, more than half–or 1,307–of the 2,406 registered doctors in the province did not declare any income tax due.
Another 464 paid income tax, but the amounts of tax paid were also less than the tax liability of an average public school teacher.
“When you don’t pay your taxes, you’re a burden to those who do,” the BIR again said in the latest print ad.
The same line was printed in a previous newspaper advertisement that elicited complaint from the Philippine Medical Association (PMA).
The PMA said the ad, which showed a doctor riding piggyback on a teacher, was highly unfair as it portrayed all doctors as tax cheats.
In response, BIR Commissioner Kim Henares has said that instead of feeling hurt, the doctors who were not paying the right taxes should feel ashamed.
On the other hand, Henares also said, doctors who were paying the right taxes should not get hurt by an ad that was attacking tax cheats.
Henares said the BIR’s ad was not only consistent with public perception but was based on statistics.
She said doctors who complain about the negative perception about their tax compliance should take it as a challenge to remit proper taxes.
The print advertisements are part of the BIR’s anti-tax evasion campaign.
The BIR, which accounts for at least 60 percent of the national government’s total revenues, is tasked with collecting P1.456 trillion in taxes in 2014.
The amount is about 20 percent more than its collection of P1.217 trillion last year.
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