Saturday, June 11, 2011

Romancing with the Taxmen

As a student, I was curious to know the tricks and the trade inside; but I was discouraged by a classmate whose mother was holding a position in the bureau (and he ended up working there).  It's an open secret, that graft and corruption is rampant... unfortunately, it has become a norm rather than an exception.  There were attempts to revamp the bureau; but I guess it's a hard habit to break.
A few years ago, I remember a press release from the bureau that they have hired a new breed of young, competent, intellectual Certified Public Accountants.  Over coffee, an examiner claimed to be one of those but I guess, they are corrupted just the same and even worse.

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"
  • "the amount has to be divisible by three" kasi tatlo maghati-hati
With this new administration, I'm hopeful, I would not hear these lines anymore. No matter how you keep your records clean, they never fail to ask for something.  It could be something for themselves or for the government; thus, be prepared to set aside a budget for this.

The more strict and complicated these tax laws become, the more reason these taxmen can play around it.  Examiners are corrupt and they are spoiled by equally corrupt taxpayers, don't you think? 

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

P.S. After so many sleepless nights, not a single centavo went to their pockets.  At least not from me.

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