Press Release
May 19, 2011

Trillanes: Probe delay in tax refund claims

Senator Antonio "Sonny" F. Trillanes IV has asked the Senate Committee on Finance to look into complaints against the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) that it allegedly failed to act expeditiously on pending tax refund claims.

In a resolution he filed seeking an investigation into the complaints in aid of legislation, Trillanes explained this would help address the gaps in the rules and regulations of the BIR pertaining to tax refunds and claims.

"Tax refund procedures are very tedious and cumbersome," Trillanes lamented. "The process of claiming tax refund could take several months just for a revenue officer to be assigned to process the claim."

Trillanes explained that after several reviews and documentation, the taxpayer will be subject to a tax audit, a process which often leads to the filing of tax deficiency against the claimant. "Instead of refunding the claims, the taxpayer is required to pay the tax deficiency before receiving the tax refund or tax credit," he said.

Trillanes cited numerous complaints, mostly from men in uniform as well as civilians, expressing dismay over BIR's lengthy process of filing a claim. Worse, the bureau issues Tax Credit Certificates (TCCs) instead of paying cash to claimants entitled for refunds.

"This fact perpetually affects the morale of the Filipino soldiers and civilians in general because they feel that they are being 'cheated' and short-changed by the government when it comes to money the government actually owes them," the senator pointed out.

He even reminded the BIR about the Supreme Court opinion stating that "If the State expects its taxpayers to observe fairness and honesty in paying their taxes, it must hold itself against the same standard in refunding excess or erroneous payments of such taxes. It should not enrich itself at the expense of the taxpayers."

"We should balance state's interest of maintaining its lifeblood through taxes against the contravening interest of our taxpayers claiming refund. In doing so, we must put into consideration the values of fairness and justice," Trillanes explained.

News Latest News Feed