By PNA and U.S. News Agency / Asian
Authorities from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) District 79 Office based in Dumaguete City on Tuesday ordered the closure of a business establishment after the owner failed to pay delinquent taxes estimated at P300,000.
Ordered closed until settlement of its unpaid dues with the BIR was the Dumaguete Omega Store along Perdices Street in downtown Dumaguete.
BIR 79 District Office chief Cresencio Agad led a team of BIR staff who served the notice of closure to the proprietor of the Omega Store. Upon arrival at the store that sold hardware goods, power tools and other construction supplies, the BIR personnel found that it was closed for the day.
The owner, whose identity was withheld by the BIR, arrived later and voluntarily opened the store, let the BIR staff in, received and signed the notice of closure and willingly turned over the keys to the front and back doors of the establishment.
The Omega Store is the first business establishment to be padlocked under BIR’s Oplan Kandado program for this year. According to Agad, it took BIR-Dumaguete awhile before it could implement Oplan Kandado as there were processes to follow.
Oplan Kandado is not merely for collecting delinquent taxes but to also serve as a warning and reminder to the public that the government is sincere in its law enforcement efforts, said Agad.
He explained that his office had already issued reminders to the owner of Omega Store since last year to settle its dues but these were ignored.
The business establishment can resume operation within five days after the owner pays off the delinquent taxes or makes arrangements with the BIR for a payment scheme.
Agad also further explained that Oplan Kandado is usually carried out in a confidential manner so as not to put a taxpayer to shame, even as he could not explain why Omega Store was already closed when the BIR staff arrived.
The business establishment was under surveillance since 2011 and it took at least a year and certain processes before the BIR finally took the last resort, which is to padlock the store until a settlement was reached, Agad said.
The BIR official said the government means serious business in running after tax evaders.
In 2009, the BIR 79 District Office padlocked three business establishments, five in 2010, two in 2011 and the Omega Store the first for this year.
Another business establishment in Dumaguete City was also set to be ordered closed Tuesday afternoon for the same reason as Omega Store, which is under-declaration of tax dues, said Agad.