Accountants get TRO vs BIR policy

Posted at 06/25/2014 3:38 PM | Updated as of 06/25/2014 7:04 PM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) – The Supreme Court has issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) on a Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) policy in favor of accountants.

The TRO is effective immediately until further orders from the court.

The Association of Small Accounting Practitioners in the Philippines Inc. earlier filed a petition asking the court to stop the implementation of BIR Revenue Regulation No. 4-2014, which requires self-employed professionals to submit an affidavit of fixed service rates and fees, register their appointment books and issue receipts even for free services.

The group’s petition was originally raffled to the Third Division but was referred to the en banc and was consolidated with similar petitions.

BIR Commissioner Kim Henares downplayed the TRO, saying it is "merely an interim measure."

"The case will have to go through a full blown proceeding. With RR 4-2014, we are seeking to put on a zone defense. However, with the TRO, it merely means we have to apply a man-to-man defense like Jaworski - tight guarding," Henares said.

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), the Philippine College of Physicians, and the Philippine Medical Association have all

secured TROs

from the court.

The IBP had said that in issuing the regulation, the Department of Finance and BIR "transgressed their constitutional and statutory boundaries" and "encroached upon the exclusive authority and jurisdiction" of the high court to promulgate rules concerning the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights, legal practice, and the legal profession as a whole."