BIR suspends controversial tax info measure again

Posted at 02/11/14 2:14 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Bureau of Internal Revenue won't be implementing its controversial memorandum circular requiring taxpayers to provide detailed income information when they file their income tax returns this year.

On Tuesday, the BIR issued Revenue Memorandum Circular 9-2014 which suspended the implementation of the Annual Information Return (AIR) for a third time.

With the AIR, taxpayers would be required to disclose all other income such as interest on bank deposits, prize winnings, real estate properties and sale of shares of stocks, which are covered by the final withholding tax system.

The AIR is a supplemental information similar to government employees' Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN).

The AIR had earlier been opposed by several sectors and some lawmakers, who claimed it would violate an individual's right to privacy.

BIR Commissioner Kim S. Jacinto-Henares said taxpayers' filing of AIR would be optional again for taxable year 2013.

However, she said the AIR, which has been suspended since 2010, will be mandatory for taxpayers earning more than P500,000 a year, starting 2015.

"The supplemental information, once it becomes mandatory, will help us to easily determine if taxpayers are paying correct taxes to the government," Henares said.