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Lumagui: BIR “fixer” syndicate arrested, millions extorted from taxpayer

BIR fixers

Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner Romeo D. Lumagui Jr. warns the taxpaying public to avoid dealing with unscrupulous individuals that act as “fixers” for their tax obligations. This is in relation to a syndicate that was caught on April 12, 2024, extorting millions of pesos from a taxpayer with the promise of “fixing” their tax issues. The syndicate, all private citizens and not employees of the BIR, extorted 3.6 million pesos from the taxpayer, using their alleged connection with high-ranking BIR officials. The syndicate even used the forged signatures of the BIR Commissioner, the Deputy Commissioner for Operations Group, the Deputy Commissioner of the Legal Group, the Assistant Commissioner of the Large Taxpayer Service, and a Revenue District Officer.

“The arrest of this syndicate of fixers serves as a reminder to all taxpayers to avoid dealing with these groups and to always verify the authority of any person in dealing with your tax obligations. We urge the public to report to the BIR these individuals/groups. We will help you entrap and arrest them,” Commissioner Lumagui stated.

The arrested fixers used acknowledgement receipts with the forged signatures of the aforementioned officials of the BIR for “processing of documents,” “extension of compliance with Computerized Accounting System,” and “processing and fixation of transfer” from one Revenue District Office to another. All of these processes are regulated by the BIR itself and may be processed in its offices, there is no need for a “fixer” because there is already a system in place. The BIR has adequate revenue memorandum circulars, revenue memorandum orders, and other regulations that will guide the taxpayer in dealing with these concerns.

The BIR has been consistent in addressing corruption issues. Commissioner Lumagui himself leads this crusade with his program of Integrity and Professionalism within the BIR.

In February 2024, Commissioner Lumagui reported that a BIR employee was caught extorting a bike shop. The BIR, together with law enforcement agencies, arrested the employee through an entrapment operation. Last May 2023, Commissioner Lumagui also filed criminal cases against a BIR employee caught tampering with sales machines to help a taxpayer avoid paying the right taxes.

This shows that whether the perpetrators come from the BIR itself or from private sector “fixers”, Commissioner Lumagui has zero tolerance over these criminal activities.

“Walang lugar sa Bagong Pilipinas at sa Bagong BIR ang mga ganitong criminal. Ang BIR ay handang makipagtulungan sa ibang ahensiya ng gobyerno upang hulihin, kasuhan, at ikulong ang mga ganitong tao,” Commissioner Lumagui stated.

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