Sunday, July 18, 2010

Should I be Hopeful?

Believe it or not, I longed to work with the tax bureau.  As a student, I was curious to know the tricks and the trade inside; but I was discouraged by a friend whose mother was holding a position in the bureau (and he ended up working there).  It's an open secret, graft and corruption is rampant... unfortunately, it has become a norm rather than an exception.  Examiners are corrupt and they are spoiled by equally corrupt taxpayers, don't you think?  There were attempts to revamp the bureau; but I guess it's a hard habit to break.

Some ten years ago, I remember a press release from the bureau that they have hired a new breed of young, competent, intellectual Certified Public Accountants.  I was tempted to apply.  I've talked to an examiner my age recently who claimed to be one of the new breed but I guess, they are corrupted just the same and even worse.  They can be rude sometimes, you just need to put your foot down and convey a message that you know better than them (at the same time, don't forget to kiss ass).  Sometimes, I get so tempted to set them up and bust them but I'm not brave enough to make a scene.

In any negotiation, over used lines go like these:
  • "may cut pa kasi sa taas"  taas could mean, as high up as the President of the republic.
  • "we're having a revamp, let's settle this so it will be removed from my inventory."
  • "in our division, we don't accept anything below a million."
  • "how much are you willing to pay?"
  • "20% lang may recibo, so it can't be less than x amount"
With this new administration, I'm hopeful, I would not hear the first line anymore. Even if we keep our books clean, they never fail to always ask for something.  It could be something for themselves or for the government. I always go for the latter even if it could mean more and the next examiner does not believe that not a single cent went into their pocket.  It is a sad reality, every taxpayer needs to prepare a budget for this. 

I once talked to a deputy commissioner about a haphazardly prepared assessment, the only assurance he could give me was to tell that examiner "times have changed", has it?


Recently, the bureau has issued RMO 62-2010 prescribing the supplemental guidelines on the electronic issuance of Letters of Authority (LA) and related audit policies and procedures; a first attempt to monitor examinations.  If you have not received an electronic LA for taxable year 2009 onwards, you have the right not to entertain revenue officers.

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