Overtaxed businesses decry slow action by city government

Puerto Princesa City Hall (Photo//Palawan News)

Owners of business establishments that were assessed excessive taxes by the city government during the first quarter of 2017 are complaining about the local government’s continuing delay in granting tax credits.

Rante Ramos, a public accountant and a member of the Puerto Princesa City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. said the delay in applying the tax credits are already affecting business operations, especially as the deadline for the quarterly filing of business taxes draws near.

“Kahit papaano, malaking tulong din sana sa mga negosyante na magamit nila ‘yong pera at mapagulong nila ang kanilang mga negosyo,” Ramos told Palawan News.

Ramos said they noticed the overcharging when the government implemented its revised revenue code in January. Acting on complaints, the City Council passed an ordinance in April (City Ordinance 823) amending the tax code and granting tax credit to those who had been overtaxed.

The ordinance however is yet to take effect as it still requires mandatory publication which the city government has yet to comply.

“Kung hindi pa nila iko-correct ‘yan, ibig sabihin labis na naman ‘yong kokolektahin nila,” he said.

The ordinance directed the City Treasurer “to compute, verify and issue tax credit due to qualified taxpayers considering the situation of each case.”

“The computed tax credits shall be applied to future taxes payable, and this fact shall thus be reflected appropriately in all notices for tax credits,” the ordinance added.

City Treasurer Ma. Corazon Abayari said the tax credits would be applied upon payment of retailing business owners in third or fourth quarter this year.

The city government updates its revenue code every five years to meet its growth targets. Abayari noted that the previous revenue code was passed in 2008.

City Council Secretary Phillip Hilario told Palawan News that City Ordinance 823 will take effect soon following its immediate publication, but stressed that only retail establishments are covered by the privilege.

He advised the affected establishments to apply for tax credits retroactive from January 3, 2017.

Ramos has urged however the city government to apply the tax credits immediately.

“Hindi yata tama. Nagkamali ang city, may obligasyon silang ibalik automatically. Hindi na kailangang mag-file ng application. Halimbawang hindi nakatunog ‘yong taxpayer, ibig sabihin nakakolekta na lang sila ng mali which is hindi tama talaga,” he said.

“Kung anong excess sa binayad nila pwedeng i-apply ‘yon [sa susunod nilang tax payment],” she told Palawan News. “Ibabawas ‘yon (tax credit) hanggang sa maubos.”

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