In response to a request by Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Oscar Inocentes for the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to lift its garnishment of MMDA’s bank accounts and for a “reinvestigation of the assessed tax or a possible abatement of tax liability”, BIR Commissioner Joel Tan-Torres instructed his personnel to immediately accomodate the request. The BIR served Warrants of Garnishment on several bank accounts of the MMDA last March 24, 2010 for MMDA’s failure to settle its withholding tax liabilities for the years 1997, 2000 and 2001 amounting to P 116,451,132.98.Commissioner Tan-Torres said, “ We decided to forgive MMDA and to lift the freeze order on their bank accounts since their management has shown good faith and interest in settling thier long outstanding tax debt. The BIR and MMDA shall now discuss how these obligations can be settled within the next few days.”

Commissioner Tan-Torres earlier warned that the BIR would not hesitate to seize other assets of the MMDA if the bank accounts are not enough to cover its tax liabilities and there is continued delay in the payment of the long pending tax obligations.

“The enforcement action taken against MMDA shows that there is no discrimination by BIR between government and private taxpayers who are delinquent in the payment of taxes. The BIR will not hesitate in proceeding against all erring taxpayers. We are ready to proceed against a number of local government offices which continue to disregard our notices to pay their tax obligations,” Commissioner Tan-Torres emphasized.