Last week I wrote about my problems with the Registrar’s Office and registering a business name etc. This week I’m writing about the Board of Inland Revenue and the e-tax platform which we are supposed to use to submit all 2019 tax returns.
I’m attempting to file a tax return for a non-resident who does not work here but owns an apartment that he rents out. This is his only source of income. He is required to file a tax return.
So I go online and start the process.
First page has the basic information on the person’s tax return: BIR number, letter ID, account type and account number. Now if you don’t have a letter ID you can’t proceed. What is the significance of this I don’t know, but I’m already giving you the BIR number and tax account number.
Page two gives vague details of what you will need to complete the process.
Page three is information on the tax return preparer.
Then we reach the first problem area: page four. If you check the box as non-resident you are automatically required to provide the following information: weeks employed, employer’s name, employer’s BIR number, work permit number, issue date and expiration date of work permit. This person has none of these and leaving them blank is not an option for some of the fields.
I managed to get past this page by putting one week employed, ten zeros for the employer’s BIR number along with other similar lies.
The rest of the form was going okay until I reached the quarterly income section. The income for the year was below $35,000 because the apartment was empty most of the year. If I put the date of commencement of business as a date before 2017 I am automatically charged business levy. This is wrong. Income below $360,000 is exempt from business levy. So, again, I am forced to lie in order to complete the tax return.
At the end I am required to sign a declaration form that states clearly that it is an offence to file a false return. The return will not be processed without the signed declaration form. What am I to do?
I have submitted my feedback through their contact page but I’ve used this before and got no response. Not even a confirmation that my request has been submitted successfully.
Now that was my first tax return, I have several others. It is going to be a long and difficult tax season.