'Anti-tax evasion campaign is not personality-driven'

Posted at 12/28/12 10:06 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) says its Run After Tax Evaders (RATE) campaign is not just about going after the so-called "big fish."

BIR chief Kim Jacinto-Henares said the agency decides whether they have enough evidence to secure a conviction before they will file tax evasion charges.

"With the RATE cases, do we have the evidence? Will we get a conviction? More than who the person is, because it is not personality driven. There's nothing personal about it. So if there's a complaint we investigate it," Henares told ANC's News Now on Thursday.

The BIR has been criticized for not going after the big companies and high-profile individuals who are reportedly not paying the correct taxes.

Henares said the RATE program has been successful in making people know the BIR is serious about going after tax evaders.

"Most people now know the BIR is really serious about making sure people follow the tax law and comply with their tax obligations... RATE seems to be contributing a lot because in terms of collection increase from previous year, the regional offices have increased an average of 20%," she said.

"This means people who were not registered are now registering or people who are in the field who are now trying to report the right income. Our people also are put on notice that they should make sure all the collections should go to the government coffers."

Under Henares' leadership, the BIR has filed nearly 140 tax evasion cases.