CRACKDOWN. Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Romeo Lumagui Jr. (center, holding papers) leads the filing of criminal charges against various individuals before the Department of Justice (DOJ) in Manila on Thursday (Feb. 2, 2023). The BIR filed charges against 53 individual and corporate taxpayers for tax evasion totaling PHP3.57 billion, as part of the agency's "Run After Tax Evaders" program. (PNA photo by Yancy Lim)

MANILA – Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Romeo D. Lumagui Jr. on Thursday led the filing of criminal complaints against 53 individual and corporate taxpayers for tax evasion totaling PHP3.57 billion before the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Without publicly disclosing their identities, the erring taxpayers were separately charged with willful failure to pay taxes; willful attempt to evade or defeat the payment of taxes due; willful failure to pay/remit its income tax liabilities; and include those who filed their tax returns without corresponding payment.

The BIR said the charges were filed under the agency's Run After Tax Evader Program ahead of the deadline for the filing of tax returns.

“As tax filing season is approaching, let this serve as a warning to taxpayers who intend to fraudulently evade payment of taxes that they better file and pay the correct taxes,” Lumagui said.

“We would like to remind tax evaders that the BIR is serious in pursuing its enforcement activities on a national scale. We are also sharing this to the public because we want to assure you that the BIR is committed to ensure that everyone is paying their fair share of taxes,” he said.

Lumagui was accompanied by Deputy Commissioner for Legal Group Marissa O. Cabreros, Assistant Commissioner James H. Roldan of the Enforcement Advocacy Service, as well as officials from the Prosecution Division, Large Taxpayer (LT) Collection Enforcement Division, and revenue officials from the participating Revenue Regions.

The following Revenue Regions and LT Division which filed separate criminal cases against the aforementioned tax evaders are as follows:

-- Revenue Region No. 5 – Caloocan filed nine (9) amounting to PHP 827,142,550.14

-- Revenue Region No. 6 – City of Manila, two (2) amounting to PHP 13,944,000.00

-- Revenue Region No. 7A – Quezon City, four (4) amounting to PHP 50,489,462.08

-- Revenue Region No. 8A – Makati City, ten (10) amounting to PHP 1,725,996,752.04

-- Revenue Region No. 8B – South NCR, seven (7) amounting to PHP 413,711,829.33

-- Revenue Region No. 9A – Cavite, Batangas, Mindoro and Romblon (CABAMIRO), six (6) amounting to PHP 115,209,151.65

-- Revenue Region No. 9B – Laguna, Quezon and Marinduque (LAQUEMAR), five (5) amounting to PHP 114,110,950.24

--Revenue Region No. 13 – Cebu City, three (3) amounting to PHP 44,887,444.91

-- Revenue Region No. 16 – Cagayan de Oro City, three (3) amounting to PHP 16,607,516.64

-- Revenue Region No. 17 – Butuan City, three (3) amounting to PHP 149,108,290.05

-- LT Collection Enforcement Division – National Office, one (1) amounting to PHP 96,665,089.06. (PNA)