Incoming BIR chief wants to check tax records of persons with ‘ostentatious’ lifestyles

Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) chief-designate Lilia Guillermo wanted to check individuals with ostentatious lifestyles and the taxes that they have paid.

Guillermo said lifestyle checks should be done not only to employees of BIR, adding “sana sa mga citizens din na makikita natin ostentatious display of wealth.”

“(Sa) mga nakikita mo na ang kotse nila eh…. frequent travels although sa COVID time walang frequent travels, ang lalaki ng bahay and yet pagka nakita mo kung sino sila and try to match sa aming files they did not even file their returns… parang di ba duda ka. How come you have these properties, pa-explain lang naman natin,” Guillermo added.

At the same time, Guillermo said she will form a task force composed of data scientists to look into social media influencers.

“Alam mo meron tayong tinatawag na big data… big data yan and big data tools are already available…. Susuyurin namin, we can analyze structured data na nalalabas sa social media. Nakikita nyo naman di ba? Maraming followers means nagkaka-income sila dyan. Online sales magpa-rehistro lang sila sa BIR, mag-issue ng receipt we will be able to monitor them,” she added.

Guillermo stressed that taxing social media influencers is not a new law.

“Sabi ko nga no new taxes, itong sa online hindi naman new taxes yan eh if you earn income you will have to pay taxes,” she pointed out.

The incoming BIR chief is the current head of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ Technology and Digital Innovation Office and is in charge of managing the BSP’s IT Modernization Roadmap.

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