April 14, 2024

The Bureau of Internal Revenue suspended its audit and other field operations in observance of the holiday season.

Revenue Memorandum Order (RMO) 39-2023 issued Dec. 13 stated all field audits and related field operations relating to the tax collecting agency’s examination and verification of taxpayers’ books of accounts, records, and other transactions are suspended from Dec. 16 to Jan. 7, 2024.

During this period, the issuance of written orders to audit or investigate taxpayers’ internal revenue tax liabilities will be on hold except investigation of cases prescribing on or before April 15, 2024 and cases involving tax evasion.

The processing and verifying of estate tax returns, donor’s tax returns, capital gains tax returns, and withholding tax returns concerning the sale of real properties or shares of stocks, along with associated documentary tax returns is also exempted from the suspension.

Also exempted are the examination or verification of internal revenue tax liabilities of taxpayers retiring from business, monitoring of privilege stores or tiangges, and other matters or concerns with specific deadlines.

Examiners and investigators will use this time to complete office-based tasks and finalize reports on cases where fieldwork has been completed, BIR said.

However, RMO 39-2023 stressed that efforts to maximize revenue collection should be sustained year-round.

“Therefore, the issuance of assessment notices, warrants, and seizure notices shall continue as necessary. Taxpayers can also voluntarily pay their known deficiency taxes without requiring approvals from revenue  officials.”

The BIR early this year had issued a new order prescribing the updated guidelines and procedures for its audit program in line with the digital transformation program and automation of its manual procedures.

 RMO 6-2023, issued Feb. 9, said the BIR is automating a number of manual procedures to “improve operational efficiency on audit activities.” The order also aims to “enhance taxpayers’ voluntary compliance by encouraging the correct payment of internal revenue taxes.” – Press release