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DOJ, CTA urged to speed up resolution of tax evasion cases

The Makati Business Club (MBC) has urged the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) to speed up the resolution of tax evasion cases to encourage voluntary payment of taxes.

MBC President Ramon del Rosario Jr. said tax evasion, like other graft and corruption cases, thrives due to the slow process in the investigation and prosecution of the offense.

The former finance secretary made the observation at the 4th Ombudsman Integrity Lecture held at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) office in Mandaluyong City which tackled the nagging issue of graft and corruption in the public and private sectors.

Del Rosario noted that graft and corruption, including tax cheating, could be checked if the government and private sector could come out with measures that would usher in the speedy administration of justice in the country.

He said tax cheats and grafters should be taught the lesson that crime does not pay via swift and decisive action by the prosecutors and courts.

He added that while the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has been filing tax evasion cases before the DOJ, these cases should be acted with dispatch.

Records show that the BIR under Commissioner Kim S. Jacinto-Henares’ watch has been filing tax evasion cases every other week since she assumed her post in June 2010.

Henares had earlier expressed dismay over the delay by the DOJ in filing cases before the CTA.

To date, the BIR has submitted to the DOJ a total of 221 cases under its Run-After-Tax-Evaders (RATE) program, the bulk of which are still being reviewed and evaluated by the prosecutor’s office.

Del Rosario said the government and private sectors should come out with a unified stand and strategy to effectively fight tax evasion and corruption.

On the part of the business sector, Del Rosario said his group has come out with an integrity pledge movement.

He bared that the number of signatories to the initiative has been increasing. This movement, he said will promote honesty and accountability by observing all laws and regulations in all business transactions.