Powers of the BIR Commissioner



Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is an important sector of the government because it is the unit in charge of tax collection. Taxation is broad and because of such wide range it can be, the Government assigns a BIR Commissioner to manage the Bureau. The Commissioner is entitled to exercise numerous powers in order to facilitate taxation. Because of the vital role of Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) the government conducts careful selection on who they think would be able to put the powers to good use.

The Powers of the BIR Commissioner

Interpret Tax Law and decide tax cases

An individual appointed to be the Commissioner of Internal Revenue has power such as Power to Interpret Tax Law and decide tax cases in certain situation. The BIR commissioner has knowledge in tax laws and tax cases because he is in charge of deciding what tax law to apply in a different situations.

Obtain Information and to Summon, Examine and Take Testimony of persons

Another Power is the Power to Obtain Information and to Summon, Examine and Take Testimony of persons. The commissioner has the power to obtain relevant information from the taxpayer’s books which will be used by the commissioner and also take testimony from person to add as evidence needed in decision making of the commissioner on what penalties or tax law to be applied in certain tax cases.

Asses and Prescribe Additional Requirements for Tax Administration and Enforcement

The commissioner has also the Power to Asses and Prescribe Additional Requirements for Tax Administration and Enforcement. It means that the commissioner has the power to examine tax payers and decide the correct amount of tax to be paid by the taxpayer and additional penalties to be given to the tax payer if they failed to pay tax or tried not to pay tax.



Conduct Inventory-taking, Surveillance and to Prescribe Presumptive Gross Sales and Receipts

Authority to Conduct Inventory-taking, Surveillance and to Prescribe Presumptive Gross Sales and Receipts. One method to know whether a taxpayer declare his income, sales or receipts for tax purposes is to take surveillance for inventory, gross sales, and receipts. They have the authority to do so because it serves as their basis for assessing the taxes for the taxable months or year. They always have what they called, professional skepticism in order to not be fooled and be objective so that they can calculate the proper tax of one company. When the taxpayer failed and violated the requirements of the code, or there are some records which do not reflect the declarations made, the commissioner after considering other relevant information can determine the tax liabilities of the taxpayer.

Terminate Taxable Period

A commissioner has the power vested by the constitution to Terminate Taxable Period. When the commissioner has come to the knowledge that a taxpayer has the intention to leave the country, retire the business subject to tax or other actions that may obstruct the collection of taxes, he can declare the tax period of the taxpayer terminated. He can send notice of his decision as well as the request for immediate payment of taxes unpaid.

Prescribe Real Property Value

Authority of the Commissioner to Prescribe Real Property Values. Philippines has different areas where the value of things are higher than other places. The commissioner has the authority to divide different zones and consult with competent appraisers for the fair market value of real properties located to a specific zone. The zonal value, assessed value and selling price will be the basis of the commissioner for the assessment of taxes in selling capital assets.



Inquire into bank deposits

One of the powers of the BIR Commissioner also is to inquire into bank deposits of taxpayers. For examples, they determine the gross estate of a decedent as well as they substantiate the claims of the taxpayers of their financial incapacity to pay tax in an application for tax compromise. Under the Bank Deposit Secrecy Act, if the taxpayer has financial incapacity, inquiry can proceed only if they waive their privilege under this Act. Commissioners of the BIR accredit and register tax agents. They are responsible for the registration and accreditation of the taxpayers or businessmen wherein they connect with the Department of Finance or Securities and Exchange Commission. The denial of the commissioners for their accreditation is appealable to the Department of Finance.

Prescribe Additional Procedural or Documentary Requirements

The BIR Commissioner has the Authority to Prescribe Additional Procedural or Documentary Requirements. The commissioner can create rules regarding the processing or compliance of the documents or even add additional requirements regarding about the working papers needed to submit to the BIR such financial statement that is in accordance to the way the BIR wanted it to be presented and should be accompanying the tax returns.

Delegate Power

Authority of the Commissioner to Delegate Power. The Commissioner can delegate his power to the lower officials but with the rank equivalent to a division chief or higher than that but is subject to limitations and restrictions that the law states so. A BIR commissioner cannot delegate powers such as the recommending the declaration of the new set of rules and regulation that is given by the Secretary of Finance. The commissioner cannot also delegate his power to enforce a new rulings or even the revocation and reversing the rules of the BIR.