Home » Customs & Trade, Ports/Terminals » BIR, BOC join forces against smugglers, tax evaders

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and Bureau of Customs (BOC) are set to forge a memorandum of agreement (MOA) on information sharing and coordination, among other ways of cooperation, to strengthen their joint ​campaign against smuggling and beef up collections on excise taxes on imports.

Reporting during a recent Executive Committee meeting of the Department of Finance (DOF), Internal Revenue Commissioner Caesar Dulay said BIR will also create a “strike team” to run after smugglers and counterfeiters of locally produced goods.

Dulay said BIR is holding meetings with sister agency BOC to fine-tune the provisions of the MOA on information sharing, coordination and linkages, and other measures to help combat smuggling.

The BIR strike team, meanwhile, will “act as lead and point coordinator for all BIR enforcement activities on smuggled articles and locally manufactured counterfeit excisable products,” Dulay said.

The BIR-BOC agreement is an offshoot of Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez’s earlier directive to both agencies to strengthen their cooperation at the regional level by creating joint anti-smuggling task forces on revenue districts outside Metro Manila.

Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña had earlier complied with the order by issuing a memorandum to all district directors of the customs bureau to coordinate with the regional offices of the BIR in forming joint anti-smuggling units.

Dominguez earlier pointed out that as a result of the “intensified and coordinated drive by the BIR and BOC against cigarette manufacturer Mighty Corporation, the government was able to collect around P30 billion (US$600 million) in taxes from this tax cheat, which is the largest tax settlement ever in the country’s history.”

He said this feat enabled both BIR and BOC to score respective accomplishment rates of over 97% in 2017.

BIR achieved 97.18% of its revenue goal of P1.829 trillion, collecting a total of P1.777 trillion in 2017, while BOC collected P457.553 billion as against a revenue target of P467.896 billion, representing an accomplishment rate of 97.7% for that year.

Preliminary data show that the tax effort in 2017 registered at 14.3% ]of what?[, which is the highest in the last 11 years, according to Dominguez.

Image courtesy of Applezoomzoom at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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