Unified Invoice System pushed

LAWMAKERS are strongly pushing for the creation of a unified invoice system which will enhance tax payment consciousness among taxpayers and improve tax collection as well.

Rep. Godofredo  Arquiza (Party-list, Senior Citizens), author of House Bill 4089, said the measure aims to create a centralized printing of official receipts to be undertaken by only one printing outfit or factory, which will be under the direct supervision and control of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

“It’s about time that we adopt a unified invoice system to effectively reduce, if not eradicate, the irregularities and anomalies
in tax collection and tax evasion,” Arquiza said.

Arquiza said the scheme is envisioned to arrest multi-billion tax losses from the widespread practice of non-issuance of receipts and from the printing of fake, spurious and unregistered official receipts as well as rampant graft and corruption.

“This is in line with Section 28, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution which states that, and “The rule of taxation shall be uniform and equitable.  The Congress shall evolve a progressive system of taxation,” Arquiza said.

“This will improve tax collection through a tightened government control on the printing and issuance of Official Receipts,” Arquiza explained.

Arquiza added that the BIR is one of the principal organs of the government whose main task is the collection of taxes.  “While the BIR has a system of collection of taxes, it has no direct control and supervision over the collection,” he said.

“The procedure now is that the taxpayers ask for an Authority to Print (ATP) from the BIR to have their receipts printed, and after acquiring the said authority, the taxpayer sends it to the printer. After printing, the taxpayers use the same immediately.  It would appear that while there is direction from the BIR, there is no supervision and control over the printing and use of the official receipts,” Arquiza said.

Rep. Philip Pichay (1st District, Surigao del Sur), co-author of the measure, said the Unified Invoice System does away with the onerous imposition of the Expanded Value Added Tax (E-VAT) and R-VAT or Republic Act 9337.

“Under this system, the tax collection effort and efficiency of the government is enhanced through the widening of the tax base, which translates to a sizeable increase in the issuance of official receipts without prejudice to the present 12 percent VAT imposed on goods sold and service rendered,” Pichay said.

Pichay explained that the Unified Invoice System gives more teeth to the government’s intensified drive for greater revenue generation through the control of Official Receipts and the collection of correct taxes from a wider tax base.

“With the Unified Invoice System, the tax collections will likely double the amount of revenue collected at no cost to the government. The nature, characteristics and operational effectiveness of the Unified Invoice System will become the alternative solution in the controversial E-VAT and the current national deficient tax collection program and fiscal inadequacy, allowing instead a Revenue Generating Program with greater compliance and a wider tax base, with absolutely no cost to the government,” Pichay said.

Under the proposed measure, the BIR is mandated to create a centralized printing office of all Official Receipts to be undertaken only by one printing outfit or factory which will be under its direction, supervision and control.

The standardized official receipts shall be classified according to industry, profession or business.  This will prevent the printing and issuance of double or triple sets of receipts, as well as the printing of fake, spurious and unregistered receipts.

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