BIR warns against accountants falsely certifying financial statements, use of fake receipts

THE Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) said it will go after accountants that certify false financial statements as well as taxpayers using fake receipts to evade taxes.

“One of my major areas of concern in the BIR is aggressive and fearless enforcement activities. This includes filing of cases against accountants who have blatantly violated our laws and are intentionally examining, certifying, and signing fraudulent financial documents,” BIR Commissioner Romeo D. Lumagui, Jr. said.

On Tuesday, the BIR filed an administrative case against an accountant behind the four suspected “ghost” corporations selling fake receipts that cost the government around P25.5 billion in lost revenue. The accountant also faces criminal charges filed by the Department of Justice.

“We have a list of all the buyers and sellers of these ghost receipts, including the accountants that allowed the buyers and sellers to profit from these ghost receipts by evading taxes. Businesses and taxpayers who use these ghost receipts in their returns will not only be audited by the BIR, they will also be arrested and spend 6-10 years in prison,” Mr. Lumagui added.

Mr. Lumagui noted that there are “hundreds of thousands” of buyers of fake receipts.

“In our last case, which was only four companies, the estimated revenue loss was already at P25.5 billion. If we add up everything, losses to the government shouldn’t be lower than a hundred billion,” he added.

He said the agency will also eventually run after the buyers of fake receipts.

“We are just prioritizing the sellers first. The process (for filing) against buyers will be different. But all the taxes that they evaded, we will charge them for it,” he said.

“This is just the start of our campaign against fake transactions. We are losing so much (revenue) due to this,” he added. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson