BIR Officials: Congress not inclined to lift Bank Secrecy
“The suggestion has been brought up many times before and lawmakers with the support of the business community rejected it,” said a revenue regional director who declined to be named.
He recalled that many congressmen even protested when the BIR in 2014 tried to require taxpayers to include in their income tax returns interest earnings on bank deposits which are already subject to final withholding tax.
A Metro Manila revenue district officer said it is common knowledge that powerful politicians stashed huge bank accounts for election purposes with some banks encouraging the practice to maintain steady funds for lending operations.
The Department of Finance and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas are pushing for the approval of the measure in the proposed general tax amnesty for taxpayers with unpaid liabilities.
President Duterte vetoed the general tax amnesty provision when he signed the Tax Amnesty Act in February.
The President believed that tax evasion racket will continue if the confidentiality on bank deposit is maintained.
BIR officials agreed with the President’s observation, saying they will remain clueless on the correctness of tax amnesty returns that would be submitted by taxpayers if they are not allowed to look into their bank deposits.