Eduardo Pagulayan Jr., regional director of the Bureau of Internal Revenue for Negros and Siquijor, warned businessmen not to take advantage of the implementation of Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law for profiteering as they might be charged for doing it.
Pagulayan said that the implementation of TRAIN on its first month had been “rough” as some businessmen took the opportunity to increase the prices of various commodities without any reason.
“The implementation started Jan. 1 and some businessmen still have inventory of their stocks before TRAIN. Those products should not be affected by the increase in price,” he said in an interview Thursday during the TRAIN briefing at the BIR Annex Office in Bacolod City.
Earlier, labor groups aired their sentiments that some workers and farmers in Negros Occidental cannot afford to buy basic commodities because of price hikes, blaming it on TRAIN.
However, the Department Trade and Industry-Neg. Occ. said there is no movement in the prices of basic commodities except those with excise tax ,like sugar sweetened beverages, and fuel.
“We should understand how TRAIN works. If the businessmen will overprice, will be reflected in their financial statements when they pay their taxes,” Pagulayan said.
He said businessmen caught overpricing goods they sell could be charged for profiteering under Republic Act No. 7581, or the Price Act.
Pagulayan also asked for the help of concerned agencies in monitoring the new adjustments under TRAIN.
“We should understand that the TRAIN is intended to make taxation in the country easy. It is pro-poor, given that it adjusted the tax exemptions,” he said.
Meanwhile, About 400 private employers, businessman, government agency representatives, and local taxpayers attended the tax forum on Thursday held to inform them of the new adjustments in the taxes they should pay this year.
He said the forum was more detailed in the discussion of the technical aspect of the TRAIN law that employers, businessmen and taxpayers should understand.
During the forum, BIR officials said there are already five revenue memorandum circulars issued to implement the law that covers the adjustments on withholding tax , excise tax, and documentary stamps.
However, the implementing rules and regulations on income, estate, donor, and value-added taxes are still to be released by the Department of Finance.
Pagulayan also said that almost 50 percent of the total workforce in Negros is already enjoying tax exemption under TRAIN. The law exempts employees earning P250,000 and below annually from withholding taxes.
Most of the employers are compliant with these new adjustments, he said, adding that he hopes Negrenses will pay their taxes well to help the administration achieve its goals for the people. *MLG
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