Kim Henares’s BIR tax cheat ad fiasco: All Filipino doctors need is an extra layer of skin

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Poor Kim Henares. The beleaguered Commissioner of the Philippines’ Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is caught between a rock and a hard place — her ass is being kicked by President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III to bleed more legal revenue from the Filipino people. Trouble is, Filipino politicians derive illegal revenue from all that to bring home the bacon to their broods of spoilt brats and social climbing wives.

kim_henaresWhy would Filipino doctors be offended by the new BIR ad portraying them as tax cheats, then? They’re in good company. Just about every Filipino who can avoids or evades tax — “consulting” firms like SGV have made fortunes providing “advise” to would-be tax pinchers. How can any Filipino, for that matter, be motivated to pay the right taxes when we all know how much of that goes to their politicians’ pockets and off-shore accounts?

Filipino doctors should grow an extra layer of skin and quit the emo talk about their “sacrifices” for the common health of their compatriots. The Philippines ain’t exactly brimming with doctors, so if the BIR starts rounding up tax cheats in the medical profession, they’d likely be shooting themselves in the foot. The last thing the Philippines needs is to have precious scarce doctors languishing in jail.

Then again, do such white collar crimes actually land their perpetrators in jail? Henares’s approach of shaming alleged tax cheats like Filipino doctors is all bark and no bite anyway. Shaming is the Filipino’s preferred moronic approach to enforcing the law. Back in the late eighties and early 90’s they had this traffic decongestion program where traffic enforcers manning key intersections in Metro Manila would use a public address system to call out traffic violators and jaywalkers. So interesections had loudspeakers blaring admonitions to motorists guilty of queueing across interesections or getting caught at a stop in between lane changes. Suffice to say, we motorists soon got over that “shaming” after we worked out there were no consequences to being called out by these DJ-wannabes. As for results, well, the evidence speaks for itself — there have been none. Metro Manila traffic continued worsening since then.

This preferred approach to controlling traffic law offenders is also evident in the way we are trying to curb pork barrel thievery. The on-going Senate “Blue Ribbon Committee” inquiries are, in principle, that same driven-by-hiya approach to law enforcement. These Senate “probes” are actually nothing more than shaming exercises. But in terms of an actual roadmap that leads to a conviction? Don’t hold your breath. Most idiots would by now have still failed to realise that not a single case has been filed in any Philippine court despite an army of “whistleblowers” already lined up as politicians’ media mileage fodder.

The cluey pork horders are the ones keeping their mouths shut and just keeping their heads down. Like all of the other pakitang tao dog-and-pony shows that pass off as “crusades against crime”, this too will pass. And then everybody calls it a day and laughs all the way to the bank. Just like before. In the Philippines, the ones with the thickest skins win. Even as this circus unravels, we can see that it is all just another day at the office for Philippine politicians — many of whom are already gearing up for the various roles they will play in the coming elections. What? Me worry?

Filipino doctors shouldn’t get themselves all worked up about some dumb BIR ad. Pana-panahon lang yan. Just look back at what a bumbling fool Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas made of himself during the Philippine government’s Typhoon Haiyan epic fail. And yet here he is still planning to run for President in 2016. Amazingly, there are lessons to be learned from bozos like Roxas — and that is, you just need to have thick skin to succeed in the Philippines.

Being a crybaby about perceived slights won’t do you any good — specially in a society as inherently unjust as that of the Philippines’. You just need to keep your eye on the ball and ignore the noise — just like what Kim Henares is doing in the aftermath of all those “indignation” campaigns being mounted against her.

No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other dumb bastard die for his country.

…with thanks to the late United States General George S Patton.

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41 Comments on “Kim Henares’s BIR tax cheat ad fiasco: All Filipino doctors need is an extra layer of skin”

  1. It is really painful paying taxes that you knew will only be pocketed by corrupt politicians. Being a teacher whose taxes are automatically deducted even before we hold on to our pay slips, I think it is quite unfair that doctors would be singled out regarding this tax issue. We are lucky that we still have doctors here despite the fact that they can go abroad and earn a lot more. Why can’t BIR focus probing on business taxes that are often disguised through ‘charity works?’ I just hope there would come a time that Filipinos would willingly pay taxes since there would be evident development for the country.

  2. The Filipino people should not be made to bear the consequences of government’s inefficiency in attracting foreign investments (FDI) or their failure to go after big-time tax evaders and smugglers, nor should they be the perennial source of new funding involving yet another round new of tax measures.

    1. Precisely…but then again, you wonder if this is intended or that they really are clueless that it’s not our fault that our country is poor.

      1. It’s not (the Filipino) people’s fault that our country is poor?

        Blame for the Philippines’ persistent poverty is equivocal. The notion put forth by the socialist, statist-leaning watered down Communists who like to party on EDSA is that the disparity between the rich ruling class and the poor majority exists because the rich and those in power are stealing from the rest of the public, keeping the rest of us from realizing our aspirations. I’ve said this before: that assertion is OFTEN TRUE. Our leaders have been proven to enrich themselves by taking advantage of the people who entrusted them with authority. Therefore — as conventional Pinoy wisdom will have it — in order to become prosperous all we have to do is stop those who are stealing or replace them. And re-allocate the wealth that they have stolen. Reality has shown us that the only thing this has accomplished is an endless election cycle ‘moro-moro.’

        The real failure of our country isn’t just because a select few are depriving the majority of their share but because Filipinos — as a people — failed to build a society based on proper education, the rule of law, and the promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship. And that IS entirely OUR FAULT.

  3. The campaign to go after tax cheats is long overdue, however, it either appears selective still or the approach of going about it is just irrational/mind boggling for me.

    I don’t mind if they just appealed in the print ads for people to request for receipts for every purchase. They used to have a campaign of premyo sa resibo right? This was used to allow any consumer to cross check with the BIr that the receipt they got was actually legit (Do they still have this?)

    These was indirectly addressing the issue of declaring sales etc with legit receipts.

    However, the way they do their “RATE” is via an open ended shame campaign. Giving you the end result of taxes paid without even expounding on the details declared as to why it came up that way.

    Take for the example the doctor ad. They said the doctor earned 1m php but only paid little tax. If that was accepted by the BIR knowing full well the payment was erroneous, the doctor mostly had to refile (thru his accountant) a corrected tax declaration to adjust for the deficiency.

    However, if the taxes to be paid was correctly declared and stated, then the ad is completely deceptive in nature. Because if that is what the law prescribes the doctor should pay, then there is nothing illegal about his declaration and payment. This becomes more of the fault of the tax system than the one declaring.

    In the first place, the BIR knows the actual earnings as per the ad right? So the doctor declared it, why was it an evasion ad then?

    The problem with just giving an ad via a picture is it is open to interpretation. No matter what profession you put in there, someone will react.

    Instead of approaching it via shame campaign and using any profession as an example, these ad campaigns should be on how taxes are computed anyway. To educate not only the professionals, but also the employees.

    This education will develop the understanding of both and can even open up the dialogue on the possible imbalance of the tax system.

    You clearly see from the comments of employees that their complaints is that the tax is just automatically deducted by their employers and they feel it is unjust “just because”.

    It should have clearly been an outright education campaign rather a shame campaign.

    I still would think if they keep the premyo sa resibo active and have the winning coursed thru PCSO funds, it would be okay. It encourages requesting of receipts (any kind of receipts that is accepted by the BIR).

    I still don’t get though, why the gov’t taxes raw mat with VAT when there is no value added yet to the raw mat’l.

    Just my thoughts.

  4. The taxes we pay:

    1. Income Tax

    2. Residence Certificate

    3. Inheritance Tax

    4. VAT on goods

    5. VAT on services

    6. Sin Taxes

    7. VAT on fuel, gasoline, LPG, etc.

    8. Business Tax

    This is just a shortie…
    Please add what you know. My point is that this government is top heavy when it comes to taxation. Most of the tax burden is shouldered by us. What makes it painful is the fact that there seems to be no tax reforms that would ease our burden. The fact that there is massive corruption (PDAF/DAP kickbacks, bribes, payoffs, etc.)in the government shows that the scales of injustice are tipped in favor of the bad guys. We suffer while they enjoy ill gotten wealth in the form of mansions, rest houses, expensive cars, foreign education/travel and condos, etc., etc., here and abroad! KIM HENARES! WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO STOP ILL GOTTEN WEALTH WHERE NO TAXES ARE PAID BY THE ROTTEN AND CORRUPT!TAX REDUCTION/REFORM NOW!!!

    1. If this system of taxation is not reformed then the kings and queens of graft and corruption including the smugglers and the cheats might trigger a People Power Tax Revolution! WAKE UP KIM HENARES!!!

    2. Road user tax, in which you wonder why you ever pay it, while you are driving at a flooded, pothole riddled, unlit road.

      Travel tax, although “none” for OFWs. You also wonder what happens to it when you have the world’s worst airport.

    3. 9. Road user tax
      10. Real property tax

      Kawawa tayong mga Filipino na bayad ng bayad ng mga buwis sa Inutil na Gobyerno. Dapat talaga mag aklas na.

      1. 11. capital gains tax
        12. documentary stamp tax
        13. transfer tax
        14. business permit tax

        STAND UP FOR YOUR RIGHTS! DO NOT PAY!!!!!!!

  5. Instead of encouraging the production of wealth, the government is bent on squeezing the life out of the golden goose. The pie, instead of getting bigger, is shrinking fast.

    Instead of market reforms, tax us to death why don’t you, El Presidente?

  6. Gen. Patton is one of my favorite Generals. Along with U.S. Confederate Gen. “Stonewall”
    Jackson; and U.S. Union Gen. W. Tecumseh Sherman…

    BIR Kim Heneres is being used by Aquino, to collect taxes; like collecting “revolutionary taxes” by the NPA Mafia. Heneres is also used by Aquino to Bully political opponents, to be submissive to Aquino and his party. The BIR should look into the Oligarch circle of Aquino. The politicians who engorge themselves with Pork Barrel Funds. Our Medical Doctors can migrate to other countries; where they will be taken cared of; because of their talents, educations, and skills. The Brains in the Philippines, will continue to be drained to the Bottom Level…all to be left,are Aquino, his political cahoots, and his YellowTards. He can then name, this republic: “The Yellowtard Republic…they will live as miserable, thereafter…the end…”wakas”…

  7. Contrary to the popular belief that our system of taxation is designed simply to extract as much wealth for the benefit of the ‘ruling class,’ reality shows us that the Philippines implements a progressive tax where the tax rate increases as the taxable base amount increases.

    Progressive taxation is used as a way to mitigate the societal ills associated with higher income inequality, as the tax structure increases equality — i.e. you pay less tax if you earn less, you pay more if you earn more.

    Graft and corruption, politicians using public coffers as their own personal bank accounts — those are separate issues. Let’s not conflate them with what is an already convoluted tax problem.

  8. BIR Commissioner Kim Henares often justifies the efforts of her agency as being essential for the delivery of social and economic services, school buildings, farm-to-market roads, etc.

    Ostensibly, because the Philippines follows the progressive system of taxation, the BIR only wants to ensure that EVERYONE pays their ‘fair share’ — the wealthy is supposed to be taxed more than the less wealthy. What reality shows us is that our system of taxation PUNISHES the middle class who are taxed at rates closer to the wealthy. How is it ‘fair’ when one segment of society is made to shoulder the responsibility not just for the very poor, BUT ALSO the very rich?

    Look around you. EVERYTHING IN THE PHILIPPINES IS TAXED! There is VAT imposed on practically anything you purchase. The VAT on homeowners’ association dues means that you are taxed for simply taking up residence in the country. What this all comes down to is that the prices of all goods and services go up. And because everything is taxed, the cost of living is higher.

    Filipinos taxpayers have yet to see the fruits of their taxes. Instead, what you hear about are reports of graft and corruption in government. From over-inflated project costs used to accommodate huge kickbacks to substandard construction that ensure ‘repairs’ will be needed within a few short months of completion to provinces where ‘public service’ is a family business and the governor, congressmen, and mayors are related and are all well-compensated.

        1. Well, I simply lament that the Philippine government is stringent on collecting income taxes and yet I don’t see tangible improvements.

          —-

          Anyway, I admire the nordic model on supporting the well being of its population and providing social cushion, though not blindingly. I still believe that the culture of self reliance and excellence should be instilled, though I’m lost on how to demarcate where government support and self reliance ought to be :).

          On PM Thatcher’s tax cuts, I think her policies are pragmatic one in face of the issues she’s facing when she came in office, though she in turn relies on indirect taxes, like VAT.

  9. IMHO it is better to have a flat tax rate on everything, if you spend more then you will be taxed more. And it will make accounting more simple, thus the likelihood of corruption, bribery, etc. will be reduced.

  10. Nobody ever wants to pay tax, but especially when tax revenues are simply stolen by politicians ( 30% is the conservative estimate of lost tax revenue to corruption in the philippines, and a further 30%+ potential revenue is the opportunity loss from those who pay no tax in the first place), so kim henares may seek favourable publicity by chasing a few small fish/political adversaries, and distasteful/questionable adverts, but she is doing little to fundamentally change the culture, or the system itself, and it is akin to shooting baby alligators, but doing nothing to actually drain the swamp itself.

    The issue in the philippines, like almost everything else, boils down to culture, corruption, and incompetence.

    The bottom line – people will only pay taxes, albeit reluctantly, when they see some practical benefits/investment/improvements in services, and trust their government to manage finances judiciously, not fill up their personal offshore bank accounts, and when there is an efficient integrated system to minimise opportunity of tax avoidance.

    Kim henares needs to put her own house in order first.

    The extent of the problem is highlighted by the fact that the 500th highest individual tax payer in the whole country pays a paltry 6 million pesos. (Equating to circa 24 million pesos income!! – that is 500,000 $. – hardly big bucks, and hardly credible) – the 1000th highest earning tax paying individual gets about the same as my annual pension! Incredible! A rich country pretending to be poor.

    Kim henares should publish a tax list of senators/congressmen and journalists, and check out cabinet members building 60 million peso houses on 60,000/month salaries. Lead from the front, enough of pnoy aquino being in the rear.

  11. Ah but the Filipino people must pay their taxes and must also pay the price for the corruption in their country even if it is all blamed on the politicians. Only then will we be ready to stop paying bribes (even little ones count) able to hold people accountable (without our own skeletons) and get those politicians out of office. The fact that there is a senate meeting as the doctors are offended shows a lack of priority and willingness to waste time. It was probably an actor portraying an doctor, how sensitive. A doctor is a “respected” job therefore illustrating even the respected must pay. All wages should have taxes removed before given. Tax rosters should be published on the web as should unpaid violations. Cameras need to be in every LTO, TV’s don’t. Those of us who pay “on the side” are enabling the corruption. All of us have to change in how we act, spend our money and elect officials. “12 Little Things Every Filipino can do….”

  12. The Philippine BIR is also infested with corrupt examiners and higher officials. This continuing problem is the source of internal corruption which to this time has not been addressed by those concerned. So its not just the cheaters, smugglers and the graft and corrupt people that is the problem… It is the Bureau itself that is the problem!No internal reforms…

    Investigative journalism from the Philippine Star:

    http://www.philstar.com/headlines/87649/bir-provides-rich-broth-corruption

  13. SaKim Henares should go after those quack doctors in Malasyañang who are notorious for doctoring the facts, like the PDAF, DAP, the number of death of Yolanda, surveys, election results etc…etc…

  14. SaKim Henares should go after those quack doctors in Malasyañang who are notorious for doctoring the facts, like the PDAF, DAP, the number of death of Yolanda, surveys, election results, the croock businessmen, croock politicians and so on.

  15. KUNG TAMA LANG ANG TAXATION THROUGH TAX REFORMS/REDUCTION MARAMI ANG YAYAMAN!

    KUNG MAY PDAF/DAP, BRIBERY, KICKBACKS AT IBA PANG GRAFT AND CORRUPTION WALA TALAGANG MATUWID NA DAAN!

    KUNG SOBRA ANG BUWIS TALAGANG BALIW NA DAAN!

  16. The state of affairs in this country is absolutely pathetic! Here is the real story present and future:

    1. We are overtaxed by the present system with apparently no hope of tax reform and/or reduction. This is from the viewpoint of the government of the Republic of the Philippines.

    2. We are being forced to pay Revolutionary Tax by the New People’s Army (NPA) shadow government. Penalty for failure to pay is death or burning of your property! Why is the government helpless in completely suppressing NPA taxation all over the archipelago? Why is BS Aquino allowing two tax systems to exist?

    3. BS Aquino is giving all the benefits and advantages to the MILF criminal, bandit, terrorist group in allowing them a sub-state which can transform into a Pan Islamic State! Will he also tolerate the Jizyah Tax should this become reality in Mindanao?

    1. 4. If memory serves me right the MILF criminal, bandit, terrorist group also collects “taxes” using its Al Khobar Extortion Group. Why is the BS Aquino government tolerating the existence of this MILF attached criminal group? Does the Nobel peace prize have something to do with the present inaction of this government?

  17. Congressmen passing jokes as bills. Senate conducting a comedy show. The president rewriting history to look like a telenovela.

    Tell me why should I just be quiet and be happy paying my taxes?

  18. Appointing incompetents in key positions. Here is one for you, expired/spoiled relief goods for the the typhoon victims find their way on a local landfill. And she has the gall to blame the donors…

    Tell me again, why I pay taxes to have incompetents in the government?

    1. Apparently, incompetence seems to be a common denominator in our government
      There’s Bureau of Internal Thievery Commissioner Henares,Stinky Dinky Soliman,Butch A bad-man and Francis “floating coffins” Tolentino.

      1. Believe me, it’s not worth giving our hard earned taxes to these a$$holes and c*nts if our taxes are being wasted by them.

  19. Guys… It is not the incompetence or the stupidity in government that I am worried about. These people will always be there due to the perceived lack or strict implementation of performance and/or professional standards. BS Aquino’s style in not investigating or firing officials who were tagged as incompetent or stupid by the Philippine free press speaks for itself.

    It is the dark skill of the corrupt, the smugglers and the cheats that produces injustice, inequalities, dissent and even cause for rebellion. Reforms are badly needed to correct the problems we discussed. Is this leading to a smoking social volcano just waiting to erupt in the near future?

  20. the working class, or people who earn compensation, a bit higher than minimum (which is subject to w/h tax) up to maybe 1M, should no longer pay taxes. Why? because they enrich Large Taxpayers (LT) from whom they purchase their daily needs, but these LT avoid paying the correct taxes. Now who does BIR run after? Duh..

  21. One thing I know for sure, I’ll see Kim Henares in hell. . . .that’s when i’ll give her my middle finger sign. . .

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