While he welcomes the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s move to intensify inspection of businesses, Senator Bam Aquino said the agency must ensure that this action will not be a tool for harassment and corruption.
“We laud the BIR’s effort to go after tax evaders, but the agency should also guarantee that they will target large businesses and not harass our micro, small and medium enterprises [MSMEs],” said Aquino.
He noted that small businesses are helpless if the BIR would harass them.
“Especially now that the prices of goods are increasing, families are depending so much on their small businesses like sari-sari store and carenderia,” he said.
The BIR inspectors, he said, should ensure that they will not burden the poor.
Earlier, Aquino pushed for the exemption of micro enterprises earning less than P250,000 annually from paying the required percentage taxes, on top of their income tax exemption, under the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion Act.
“Small businesses and sideline can be of big help to our poor families and community. It is just proper that the government supports them,” said Aquino.
Aquino is a former social entrepreneur and long-time advocate for MSME development.
His first law, Republic Act 10644 or the Go Negosyo Act, has established more than 800 Negosyo Centers around the Philippines to help Filipinos put up and manage successful businesses.
Aquino also filed Senate Bill No. 169 or the Small Business Tax Reform Act, which seeks to provide small businesses with a lower income tax rate, VAT exemption and simplified filing of taxes.
Under the measure, all small businesses shall be exempt from payment of income tax for the first three years of its operation from date of establishment and will be subjected to lower income tax rates thereafter.
“This bill also proposes the lowering of the income tax rate for MSEs and an exemption from VAT, among other methods to help our small businesses grow,” said Senator Aquino.