Accountant in P25.5-B tax raps vs 4 ghost firms faces license revocation, imprisonment 

By: Faith Argosino - Inquirer.net | March 22,2023 - 06:07 AM
BIR office

The Bureau of Internal Revenue main office in Quezon City. (File photo from Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines — An accountant allegedly involved in the P25.5 billion worth of tax cases filed against four ghost corporations selling fabricated invoices and receipts will face jail time and license revocation, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) said Tuesday.

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

“We have a list of all 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 to 10 years in prison,” he added.

During a raid in December 2022, the BIR seized thousands of fictitious receipts from four so-called corporations, namely Buildforce Trading Inc, Crazykitchen Foodtrade Corp., Decarich Supertrade Inc., and Redington Corporation, operating for over three years.

Last March 16, criminal complaints were filed against the four firms before the Department of Justice (DOJ) for violating the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, as amended (Tax Code), causing the government to lose an estimated P25.5 billion in taxes.

According to the BIR, the accountant “examined and audited their [the corporations’] books of accountants, certified audited financial statements containing essential misstatement of facts concerning the transactions, taxable income, and deduction of his clients, all in violation of Section 257 of the Tax Code.”

The bureau said that his conduct, which violated the Certified Public Accountant’s Code of Ethics, led to the filing of an administrative complaint against him.

It added that the accountant was criminally charged before the DOJ and administratively charged before the Professional Regulation Commission. He will face imprisonment and have his license revoked.

“May the filing of this case and revocation of the CPA license serve as a reminder to all the accountants of the oath they undertook and sworn. I am warning all of you I will not tolerate these kinds of fraudulent schemes happening under my watch. I will make sure that all tax dodgers including their respective accomplices will be punished accordingly,” said Lumagui.

“We expect you accountants to do your part in ensuring that all your clients are paying the correct taxes. You should not be the ones advising them to evade payment of taxes,” he added.

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