Lower House to suspend P10-M maximum reward on tax evasion and informant smuggling – Manila bulletin
Good news for whistleblowers and informants targeting tax evaders, tax evaders and smugglers.
The House of Representatives has planned for plenary approval a bill that would raise to 10 million pesos the ceiling of 1 million pesos for the rewards to be granted to informants of tax evasion, violations of tax and customs laws and smuggling.
Immediate passage of House Bill 9306 was requested by the House Supply Committees chaired by ACT-CIS Party Representative Eric Go-Yap and Ways and Means, the main committee, chaired by Representative by Albay Joey Sarte-Salceda.
Written by Magdalo Partylist Rep. Manuel DG Cabochan, HB 9306 provides comprehensive and streamlined awarding of rewards to informants for uncovering violations of internal tax and customs laws.
Originally filed as HB 883, approval of the proposed measure was sought by Cabochan who blamed the 1959 Republic Act Amendment 2338 among the factors that discouraged tax informants and whistleblowers from cooperating with the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Bureau of Customs.
RA 2883 was amended by Republic Act 8424 or the National Internal Revenue Code and RA 108634 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act by reducing to ten percent the 25 percent share of informants of the amount of reward that ‘they might be entitled to receive.
To make matters worse for informants, recent laws have also capped the reward the government can pay for the valuable information it has received at 1 million pesos.
“The new law effectively discourages tax informants from reporting fraud involving 10 million pesos or more because regardless of the scale of fraud and tax liability involved in a case, an informant would only get one million pesos at the end of the day. maximum, ”noted Cabochan.
Under HB 9306, informants will be entitled to ten percent of income, surcharges or fees collected and fines or penalties collected or 10 million pesos as a reward, whichever is less.
Whistleblowers who aid in the discovery and seizure of contraband goods are entitled to 20 percent of the actual proceeds from the sale of contraband and confiscated goods or 10 million pesos, whichever is less.
The proposed measure also grants the person falsely accused of breaking tax laws the right to bring criminal or civil action against the whistleblower of the misinformation.
It will be recalled that the government’s reward system against tax evaders and smugglers was put to the test by tax informant Danilo LIhaylihay who demanded a reward of 12 trillion pesos for his alleged role in the recovery of the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcos family and their close associates.
Lihaylihay calculated his reward based on the provisions of RA 2338 which contained no reward cap.
In a 2018 ruling, the Supreme Court dismissed LIhaylihay’s claim for lack of merit.
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