Philippines — The Bureau of Internal Revenue issued a Revenue Memorandum Circular 82-2008 to simplify the registration of manual books of accounts and to establish uniformity of procedures among the BIR district offices.
It has been observed that the different Revenue District Offices (RDOs) of the Bureau adopt differing rules and procedures with respect to the registration of the manual books of accounts. In some RDOs, before a new set of books of accounts is registered, taxpayers are still required to first present the previously registered books of accounts regardless of whether or not the pages thereof have all been filled up. On the other hand, in other districts, a photocopy of the stamped front page of these previously registered books of accounts is the document being required in order to approve the registration of the new set of books. Apparently, these differing rules observed by the RDOs have caused frustration and exasperation to the taxpayers which eventually resulted to an indifferent attitude towards compliance.
Despite of the issuance of the RMC 82-2008, many taxpayers are still unaware of the provisions of the memorandum circular. Infact, even the personnel of the Bureau are not implementing its own set of rules or circular. We have observed every payment of the annual registration fees for January, and since the year it was first implemented, those BIR personnel who are in-charge of the verification of TIN expressly telling to the taxpayers that they have not yet registered its books and were instructed to pay a penalty for its late registration of the manual books.
It is very frustrating to learn that taxpayers were being imposed with unnecessary penalties just because of being ignorant to their rights with regards to the registration of their manual books of accounts. But it is also the responsibility of the government to impose only just and rightful fines and penalties to the taxpayers if they were not really compliant to the rules imposed by the Bureau.
The ruling is clear but every December, it seems that most taxpayer still buys some journal and have their manual books of accounts be stamped by BIR. The reason why taxpayers have to register their books every December is because they admit that they never wrote anything in their books of accounts. In fact, after the stamping of the manual books of accounts, the journals were parked in their filing storage and never been utilized all year round. Now, here comes tax mapping penalties for taxpayers’ failure to keep an updated books of accounts. It is understandable that with the use of spreadsheets, it will be impractical and inconvenient to write in the manual books and keep it updated. It seems that this BIR rule on the manual books of accounts will continue to generate funds out of the taxpayers.
Taxpayers have the Right to Contest and Show The Ruling
The excerpts of the RMC 82-2008 in a bullet presentation are as follows:
- Taxpayers are not required to register a new set of books every year unless all pages were fully utilized.
- The revenue officer has no authority to examine whether the previously registered books are complete or updated.
- There are no deadlines of registering the manual books of accounts, but the manual books of accounts should be registered before its use.
The BIR issuance of the RMO 82-2008 has been greatly appreciated by most taxpayers, public practitioners, and tax consultants who are aware of the provisions stated therewith. This has provided relief for those who know about the provisions of the memorandum circular. At least, taxpayers has the weapon to contest or protest any unjust imposition of penalties by the Bureau in cases of late registration of the manual books of accounts. Although taxpayers can exercise this right, they should also make certain that they, indeed, kept an updated set of books, otherwise, contesting BIR penalties will be in vain and taxpayers will bend. Mere issuance of the Bureau of the RMC is WORTHLESS without the proper implementation of its rules and regulations, both on the part of the taxpayer and the tax authority.
It is advised that all taxpayers should know their rights to defend themselves against the incompetent, unjust and unscrupulous practices of some of the government personnel. However, taxpayers should also be fully aware of their responsibilities that they have to keep an updated record. This is also a wake-up call to the responsible officials to let them implement rightfully the imposition of their charges to the taxpayers.
Taxpayers who use the Simplified Books of Accounts Needs to Register their Manual Books every Year
Those establishments who use the Simplified Books of Accounts are mandated to renew another set of books every year since the Simplified Books is just good for use for every calendar year.
Taxpayers Doesn’t Keep Records Will Play It Safe. Will You Also Play it Safe?
For taxpayers who willfully fail to keep records using the Manual Set of Books registered with BIR plays it safe and they have to had their manual books of accounts be registered every December until the last working day of the month and before the start of another taxable year. This makes sense because if a taxpayer are not keeping their books updated, how will they know that they already run out of pages or when should the pages of be fully exhausted.