BIR Sues Companies Buying and Selling Ghost Receipts

BIR Takes Action Against Buyers and Sellers of Ghost Receipts

The Bureau of Internal Revenue has stressed the importance of having confidential funds in order to catch these tax-evading companies.

With an estimated PHP 1.8 billion in total tax liabilities, 69 corporations, corporate offices, and accountants are now facing legal action for buying and selling fake or ghost receipts. These were filed by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and according to a report, the cases were filed by Commissioner Romeo Lumagui Jr. after going to the Department of Justice (DOJ) himself.

Reports add that the BIR commissioner used the opportunity to stress the need for confidential funds for his agency—PHP 10 million for 2024, to be specific. According to him, these will be used for further surveillance, as well as to investigate tax evaders.

How Tax Evaders Use Ghost Receipts 

To explain how these companies are using fake or ghost receipts, Lumagui notes that they are actually registered with both BIR and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

“They’re going through the process ng registration at kumukuha ng resibo,” he said. “Pero again, walang produktong binebenta ito, walang serbisyong binebenta. Ang talagang binebenta lang nila ay mga resibong ito.” 

[Translation: They’re going through the process of registration and they get receipts. But again, no products are being sold by these companies, no services are being sold. What they are really selling are the receipts.]

He said that such companies cater to other bigger companies, including those in construction and hardware, office supplies, hotels, food services, and more. The BIR commissioner likewise issued a warning against accountants and lawyers who assist in the submission of fake receipts to the agency. 

Key Takeaways 

In order to operate smoothly and without problems, businesses should always make it a point to be law-abiding. This helps avoid having to deal with the government due to unlawful practices. 

Businesses can be law-abiding by not buying and selling fake or ghost receipts. While taxes bear heavily on the finances of a business, the lawful thing to do is to pay them properly and on time. 

Businesses should follow the processes and rules outlined by the BIR, which can be found on its website. Should a company find it difficult to do so, the BIR does have amnesty programs as well as other ways to help struggling businesses.