Thursday, November 17, 2016

BIR Sucks





I've been busy for a week now, filing for legally closing my business, Marseilla Cafe.

The reason, financial reverse. And AM (my hubby) and I are prioritizing our baby due in April.

I'll be sharing you the processes in closing a business as a single proprietor on my next post. This post is about the stressful process at BIR.

I don't mind waiting in line and all that. I've prepared all documents needed last night. But since I'm pregnant, I was privileged to cut lines.

The stress started after I went to BIR's Collections Department of RDO 54B (Bacoor, Cavite). I have all my 2551Ms and 1701Qs with me and presented it to the officer present (and he wanted us to hand/show each documents from 2015 to him one by one instead of just getting the entire folder and scan it by himself...hassle lang) because it doesn't appear in their database. It has something to do with the banks and their transaction on filing it on BIR's system, which I no longer care about since I have proof that I paid my taxes accordingly. But that wasn't the reason I say they suck.

It was when the officer told me that I missed filing 2551M for April 2015 and 1701Q (1st quarter) for 2015. I was shocked and terrified because, first, I wasn't supposed to file those since my registered date was April 1, 2015. It doesn't cover the days for March and for the first quarter. Second, it means I have to pay for its penalty! I really have no means at this time. So where the hell am I going to get money to pay for that damn penalties that I didn't even do wrong. Php 2,000 is Php 2,000! I wasn't expecting to be paying any fees to be honest. Then this happened.

It's clearly indicated on my COR (Certificate of Registration) that my start date was on April 1st. My birthdate of all dates. I've filed application on opening a business on March 30th and was asked to go back on April 8th for orientation and claiming of COR. But in their system, it says 3/31/2015 was my registration date. Putangina. I have no proof that it was the registered date since the date stamped on my COR was April 1, 2015!! Then they kept telling me it was what was encoded in their system?! Putangina talaga. Gaguhan ba ito? So, kasalanan ko pa yung nangyari at ganoon yung nakalagay sa COR ko? I've confirmed it with my previous accountant that I hired in the first few months of running the business. She based it on the date indicated on the COR because that's the only proof that I have and "assuming" or knowing that that was the same date indicated on BIR's database.

I literally cried after speaking with the assistant revenue district officer named Rosemarie Luces, who at first was really not accommodating and not even considerate on what happened. She kept on insisting that that was what was encoded on the system so they can't do anything about it and I just have to pay for the penalties. Putangina. Why should I pay for a penalty that I don't even have to pay for in the first place? Putangina. Kasalanan nila pero ako yung magbabayad? Pare-pareho talaga mga sistemang bulok nila, ng Maynilad (ibang storya pa ito), etc!!! Kapag sila ang mali, hindi nila aakuin yung gastos o pagkakamali man lang nila.

And my advise to you who wants to put up a business, remember that we are living in a fucked up system. Hindi iyan mababago hangga't hindi natatanggal lahat ng nagtatrabaho sa mga ahensiya na yan na lagpas langit pa ang mga sungay nila. The irony. You are doing the right thing, legally, to help improve the system and the economy, but people like them are the ones pulling you down.

Another advise, if you have received your COR, verify its registered date indicated on their system (literally looking at the monitor and take a photo of it and print it for documentation) so you won't get stressed/robbed the way that I did.

So, what am I going to do now? Since we went beyond the banks' cut-off time on BIR payments, I'm seeking for advise on you, readers, on what step to take. I really don't want to pay for the penalties because I shouldn't be paying in the first place. Can I file a case against them? I know it would add too much stress (and I'm seeking for PAO's help if ever). I just want to put a stop to this. Hindi ako yung tipong, "bayaran mo na lang para tapos na" pero gusto ko na lang din bayaran kasi stressed na ako sobra at naiiyak kasi hanggang ngayon miski gumawa ka ng tama, mali pa rin ang resulta.

I was given an option by the officer who was really helpful on Counter 7 that there's this Letter to Compromise that I can submit to them but it would take 2-3 months and is subject for approval. I'll be paying lower fee if approved, basing it on my request, etc. I don't know. It would be stressful, too.

I'm seeking for a lighter path and clear mind. Any advise would be great.

I think I need a drink. Oh, wait, I'm pregnant.

P.S. BIR sucks. Big time!

::: U P D A T E :::

I called 8888 to seek help.  The agent gave me BIR's head office instead of the regional office because for sure I will be asked to call the head office in the end.

BIR's Head Office updated number as of November 18, 2016:
02 981 7000 loc 3035 or 3038

I was calling them for an hour and a half.  No noon breaks, right?  But apparently, they seem to have breaks.  No one's answering.  I called again around 1:50PM and spoke with this old sounding woman and told her about my concern.  She was aggressive and even irritated, telling me, "Ano gagawin namin diyan? (What are we going to do about it?)"  Then she told me I should've called Regional Office first before them.  But I bluffed since I was advised by 8888 (Sumbungan ng Bayan) to call them directly.  Then the lady, totally pissed, connected me on their customer assistance division.

Then this very friendly, assisting lady voice on the other line, named Heidi, was a breath of fresh air.  She just gave me hope that she will hear me out.  I told her my story/concern, then she put me on hold and then asked for my TIN.  She put me on hold again so she could verify my records, which only took 2 minutes.  Then she said that I have to forward my documentation of what happened (basically, my story about my concern), scanned COR and CMS (that I've attained from the collections department) to ecomplaint[at]bir.gov.ph since she said that I have a valid point.

Of course, I asked if there would be additional penalties if I'm not going to pay for the "penalty" that RDO 54B is charging me.  She said there shouldn't be any fees in closing a business unless if I have an open case (forms/taxes I haven't paid).  Then I asked her if it would take a while for this to be resolved, she assured me since they have a new head for their division, it will be processed as soon as possible.  But, of course, I have to file 2551M/1701Q until this has been resolved.  Not a problem with me since I just have to file it on my eBIRForms with zero on gross sales and submit it online.

By the way, if you have any concerns/complaints against BIR, you can call on these numbers:
929-7676 / 927-2511

Or e-mail them at ecomplaint[at]bir.gov.ph

Let's see how long this would take.


::: UPDATE Dec. 7, 2016 :::

So, Ms. Lourdes from BIR PRO called me yesterday, Dec. 6th, around 11:30 AM on my mobile phone.  It took two weeks for them to get into my concern.  She just wanted to confirm if I was reporting on the 'misconduct' of Rosemarie Luces.  I told her it's not my concern, really.  It's more onto the penalties they imposed that my business was registered on March 31st of 2015, where I don't have any proof of it other than the date stated on my COR, which was April 1st.

Ms. Lourdes even implied that my e-mail was too long.  Of course it would be long because I have to give details on the scenario and for them not to ask over and over again about it.

She then told me that they will be contacting RDO 54B to get their side, which is fair.

After hanging up, I've received an e-mail that afternoon from the chief of Public Information and Education Division, saying that they've contacted RDO 54B about my "complaint" so that they would take action as soon as possible.

Let's see what action they would do next.


::: UPDATE Jan. 27, 2017 :::

It's more than 2 months now since my case was opened against BIR RDO 54B.  I've contacted Ms. Lourdes a week ago and asked for an update.  She asked if I've received an e-mail from them regarding RDO 54B's reply back in December, which, obviously, I have not.  She then apologized for not forwarding or CC'ing me on the e-mail.

Then upon reading 54B's statement, Ms. Luces's excuse for the misconduct was she wasn't feeling well at that time, "suffering from acute bronchitis and severe sore throat."  Me and my hubby don't buy it because she spoke clearly to us at that time.  Too bad I wasn't able to record the entire conversation on my phone to serve as a proof (I learned it in college through my major: print journalism, but I was too stressed and tired so I wasn't able to do what I should've done).  Anyway, it wasn't my primary concern on the case I filed against their RDO.  Her so-called illness is not an excuse for her to tell me/us to just pay for the penalties and they have nothing to do with my case, which is absurd.

So, that's what I replied on the e-mail Ms. Lourdes sent me aside from what are the necessary steps that I should take but I haven't received any feedback.

Then just this week, I've been calling BIR's Customer Assistance Division 981-7345; 981-7347; 981-7348; 981-7366; 981-7368; and Ms. Lourdes's numbers under Public Information & Education Division (PIED): 926.38.66 / 924.32.45 every day but to no avail.  I sent an e-mail again just today, January 27, 2017 (3:43 PM) before updating this post, but it bounced back.  So I called the PIED's number once again, and alas, I was able to speak with someone and asked for Ms. Lourdes.  She's still accommodating even knowing that she's handling so many cases to which I commend her for.  My concern at this time, aside from following up on my case, is if I still need to file and pay for the annual registration fee due on the 31st of this month.  Sadly, since my business is still 'open' at BIR, I still need to file and pay for it.  But she assured me that she'll be contacting RDO 54B after our call and she'll reach me on my mobile phone for update.

Let's see if I get to receive a call or text from Ms. Lourdes today.


2 comments:

  1. This is so true. Andaming hindi nagbabayad ng tamang tax and hindi registered pero bakit pinapahirapan nila yung nagttry maglegal

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    Replies
    1. True..nakakawalang gana tuloy mag business in the future.

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