In photo from L-R: Atty. Neri Yu-Asst. Legal Division Chief, RDO Curly Lozano of RD 81, RD Jose N. Tan and ARD Conrad Lee

BUREAU of Internal Revenue (BIR) 13 officials yesterday reminded candidates that expenses for campaign materials are subject to tax.

“So, anytime the politicians spend for campaign materials and they receive campaign contributions, they should report to the Comelec per guidelines on campaign expenditures,” BIR 13 Assistant Director Conrad Lee said.

Lee said BIR will only come in once the candidates incur expenses.

“The BIR will look into campaign contributions to ensure that there is a withholding tax. And before politicians pay their suppliers for campaign materials, they should withhold the tax due to the government and remit it to the BIR,” he said.

He said every time a supplier earns from campaign materials, the supplier should pay the corresponding tax of the realized income.

“But we consider the politicians as withholding agents because they are the ones paying for their campaign,” Lee said.

To determine whether candidates are truthfully reporting their expenses, the BIR is coordinating with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on the audit of their expenditures.

“So, if the Comelec will determine that a politician has exceeded the limit on campaign expenses, the BIR will investigate where the excess spending went,” Lee said.

For his part, lawyer Neri Yu, BIR 13 assistant division chief for legal, said if campaign contributions are reported to the Comelec by the candidate who received them, these will not be subject to a donor’s tax.

“But if the receiver will not report it to the Comelec and the BIR will discover it, this will be subject to donor’s tax,” Yu said.

Meanwhile, BIR 13 Director Jose Tan reported a surplus collection of P345 million for March after its actual collections reached P986,639,611.20. The agency’s target was P641 million. (EOB)