BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance exempting from inspection of their business records, books and other similar documents business taxpayers who declared an additional twenty-five percent of their tax base for the preceding taxable year and who religiously pay their business taxes regularly.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Leandro B. Yangot, Jr. stated any individual, partnership or other associations or corporation, upon presenting proof of payment of business taxes for the present and immediately preceding taxable years, shall be automatically exempted from inspection of the documents by the local government as indicated under the provisions of the measure.
Under the proposed ordinance, the exemption shall not translate to the benefit of any individual, partnership or other association, or corporation who have pending cases in a court of law in relation to their business records, books and other similar documents, or who has been previously found guilty of previous cases within five years immediately prior to availing of the exemption granted in the ordinance.
Section 192 of Republic Act (RA) 7160 or the Local government Code of the Philippines expressly authorizes the City Council to grant a tax exemption, incentives and other reliefs to all those who are required to pay business taxes.
Yangot pointed out the grant of exemption from inspection of business documents described in the measure on persons required to pay business taxes is a form of relief that has the effect of encouraging them to declare a bigger tax base and, consequently, a bigger tax collection for the local government.
According to him, the grant of relief to businessmen will also lessen the workload of the personnel of the City Treasury Office whose time and energy saved may be utilized for some other productive purpose beneficial to their respective departments and to the local government in general.
Further, Yangot explained the ordinance will have the twin effect of easing the burden on business taxpayers with respect to the inspection of their business documents and, raising additional revenue on the part of the city.
He claimed it is one of the duties of the local government to look for necessary ways to ease the burden of doing business for business entities to be encouraged to consider increasing their potential investments in the city.
He added it is best for the local government to formulate programs and projects to entice potential investors to expand the operation of their businesses in the city and create more employment opportunities for qualified local residents, and possibly increase revenues to be generated by the city which could redound to the benefit of people through the development projects and enhanced delivery of basic services.
By Dexter A. See