The rush of millions of Filipinos to beat the deadline in filing their taxes returns on April 18 is a stark contrast to the refusal of the Marcos family to pay the PHP203B estate tax it owes the government, said senatorial aspirant and lawyer Alex Lacson.
“Such exercise of good citizenship contrasts with how the Marcoses violate tax laws and court decisions with impunity,” he stressed.
Lacson said a president must be an example of what a good taxpayer is and not a model tax evader.
Lacson, who is running under the Robredo-Pangilinan banner, said a Marcos presidency “might encourage tax resistance instead of compliance.”
“How can a president promote tax obedience when he himself practices tax avoidance?” said Lacson.
The BIR has moved the deadline for the filing and payment of 2021 income tax returns to April 18 as the traditional April 15 deadline falls on a holiday – Good Friday – this year.
“How can the government convince people to pay the correct taxes and file their tax returns when their leader has been convicted for doing the opposite?” Lacson said.
He said a person who violates the tax code makes the job of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, whose collection shortfall contributes to the bloating of the national debt, harder.
The Bureau has been given a collection goal of PHP2.43 trillion this year, the biggest chunk of the over-all revenue target of PHP3.30 trillion.
The amount, however, is not enough to fund the projected PHP4.95 trillion actual expenditures for 2022, leaving a deficit of PHP1.65 trillion, which has to be bridged by borrowings.
The outstanding national debt is forecast to double under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte from the end of 2016 level of PHP6.09 trillion to PHP13.41 trillion by December.
However, Lacson also said, if the Marcos family only paid the PHP203B estate tax they owed the government during the pandemic, the money could have been used to buy 157,000 ICU beds, or 52,000 General X-Ray facilities, that could have helped 877,600 COVID-19 patients.
He said the government could have built 81,200 classrooms and 13,533 kilometers of farm-to-market roads, or purchase 135,333 patrol cars for the police.
“But the Marcos family continues to employ legal maneuvers to escape liability,” said the lawyer who is running for a Senate seat under the banner of Vice-president Leni Robredo and former senator Francis Kiko Pangilinan.
He said the amount could have slashed more than half of the backlog in classrooms that now stands at 123,994.
He said that the PHP203 billion in uncollected estate taxes from the Marcoses could have been used to hire more nurses, more doctors, or more teachers and policem