Taking from where it left yesterday, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Revenue Region (RR) No.8, Makati City today padlocked a popular convenience store located in Pasay City after the latter has been found to have violated the National Internal Revenue of 1997, as amended (Tax Code) by under-declaring its sales by 61.70% for one and a half taxable years.

GLADWIN GENERAL MERCHANDISE, a 24/7 convenience store more popularly known as MINISTOP, is owned and operated by a certain Ricardo Benin Del Rosario under a franchise agreement with the Robinson Group of Companies.

Del Rosario was charged for his failure to file and reflect in his monthly and quarterly VAT returns the correct taxable sales for taxable year ending December 31, 2008 and the for the First Semester of 2009 and pay the correct Value-Added Tax (VAT) due thereon for the said taxable periods.

Deputy Commissioner Gregorio V. Cabantac of the BIR Legal and Inspection Group said that what happened to MINISTOP and others under the Oplan Kandado Program should serve as a warning to other tax violators. He further said, “If you persist in violating the Tax Code, we will run after you and file the necessary charges in court under our Run After Tax Evaders (RATE) Program.” The discovery was the result of surveillance operations conducted by field men of Revenue District Office (RDO) No. 51, Pasay City on the subject taxpayer’s activities from September 1-15, 2009. The surveillance included the conduct of overt observation of business activities, sales monitoring and verification of sales invoices, and/or POS (Point-of-Sales machine) tape receipts.

For 2008, the subject taxpayer failed to declare correct taxable sales in the amount of P21,962,871.48 based on information obtained in the 15-day surveillance and from POS readings as supplied by the taxpayer himself. Deducting the amount of P8,411,779.78 declared per return, the undeclared sales amounted to P13,551,091.70 or 61.70%. The VAT due thereon at 12% amounted to P1,343,751.23.

For the first semester of 2009, Del Rosario omitted to declare correct taxable sales in the amount of P28,779,320.94 based on information likewise derived from the taxpayer and POS readings. Deducting the amount of P11,022,479.92 declared per return, the undeclared sales amounted to P17,756,841.02 or 61.70%. The VAT due thereon at 12% amounted to P1,760,801.13.

The MINISTOP of Del Rosario was shuttered pursuant to a Closure Order signed by BIR Deputy Commissioner Gregorio V. Cabantac following the failure of the company to explain its side and present evidence to dispute the above-mentioned BIR findings as indicated in the 48 Hour Notice and Five Day VAT Notice.

RR No. 8, Makati City Regional Director Jaime B. Santiago said that his region will not spare anyone who continue to violate tax laws. He stressed, “We will padlock their business operations if they do not mend their ways and start complying with our tax laws. The closure of two (2) RR No. 8, Makati City taxpayers in two (2) consecutive days should serve as a stern warning to all tax violators under my revenue region. Comply now or suffer the consequences.”

Revenue District Officer JOSEPHINE S. VIRTUCIO echoed Santiago’s sentiment. She added, “The subject taxpayer was not faithful in declaring its correct taxable sales for purposes of paying the correct amount of taxes. Despite repeated pleas, the taxpayer failed to comply with our requirements to obviate closure or suspension of business operations. We had no choice but to implement the closure order.”

Also present during the closure proceedings were BIR Deputy Commissioner for the Legal and Inspection Group Gregorio V. Cabantac, RR No. 8, Makati City Assistant Regional Director Manuel Mapoy, and other revenue officials.

Oplan Kandado is a flagship project of the BIR led by Commissioner Joel L. Tan-Torres which aims to strictly enforce sanctions for non-compliance by business establishments with requirements of the Tax Code. (reytdlc)