President Aquino calls for aggressive tax efforts

PRESIDENT Benigno S. Aquino III on Monday directed the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to step up its tax collection efforts and raise the revenue level to at least 15 percent (as ratio to the national gross domestic product) to support vital programs and projects of his administration.

The Chief Executive said he is confident that a 15 percent tax effort ratio from the present 13 percent can be achieved as such has happened before.

“During the time of former President Fidel V. Ramos, we have reached the tax effort ratio of 17 percent. Let us help each other to increase the current 13 percent to 15 percent before my term ends,” the President said in a speech during the 106th anniversary celebration of the BIR yesterday at Agham Road in Quezon City.

He expressed optimism that the BIR could achieve its P860 billion revenue target for 2010, even as the administration tries to cope with a budget deficit, which could run up to about P320 billion by yearend.

As the main tax agency, the BIR collects more than 70 percent of government revenues, followed by the Bureau of Customs (BoC). The tax effort ratio measures the taxes or revenues collected by the BIR and the BoC as in relation to GDP.

The Chief Executive reiterated his directive to the BIR to intensify its implementation of the Run After Tax Evaders (RATE) Program, which includes the criminal prosecution of erring businesses and individuals.

The President exhorted businessmen and other large taxpayers to show their sense of patriotism by paying the right amount of taxes so that government can fund vital programs and projects, particularly in infrastructure, education, health, jobs generation and social services. (PIA-Bohol)

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