COA flags Misamis Oriental for P29.68M in unpaid taxes

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by Allan Yves Briones

The Commission on Audit (COA) tagged the provincial government of Misamis Oriental for its failure to remit P29.68 million of withheld taxes to the national government, exposing it to penalties, interests and surcharges.

Under Section 5 of Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Regulation 11 – 2018, agents “shall file BIR Monthly Remittance Form every tenth (10th) day of the following month when the withholding is made, regardless of the amount withheld.”

According to the accounting personnel of Misamis Oriental, they opted to have a cut-off date to process their remittance to avoid interests, penalties and surcharges. They added that the cut-off “was based on prior experience that papers took too long in processing which may cause delay in remittance.”

And so, contrary to BIR guidelines, the provincial government of Misamis Oriental began remitting their dues every 20th of the month instead. Those withheld beyond the 20th month were remitted on the month following the required period for remittance.

However, according to state auditors, this system may still cause interests, surcharge and penalties, thus exposing the government to payment of “unnecessary expenses.” On the flip side, over remittance causes the provincial government to “lose a certain amount of money that could have been used for development programs, and the like.”

The commission recommended that the Misamis Oriental accounting office adhere to the guidelines provided by law – that all taxes withheld be remitted within ten days following the end of the month of withholding.

To which, the provincial accounting office responded, that with additional personnel and support, remittance on time of the taxes withheld is very much possible. #