Wednesday, December 18, 2013


In recent published reports, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) was quoted that it does not plan to give any blanket tax payment relief to taxpayers in the Yolanda-stricken areas of the country.

It was said that every taxpayer affected will have to present to BIR whatever tax-related documents he could rummage from the typhoon debris.

Every taxpayer's situation will be taken on a case-to-case basis.  There was no announced grace period given, much less was there talk of a possible tax payment moratorium. 

In contrast, however, one regulator, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), has announced regulatory relief to the banks in the Yolanda-stricken areas.  This includes the relaxation of some regulations, waiving of certain compliance penalties, among other things.

And for cooperatives damaged by Haiyan, it appears (in the absence of information to the contrary) that the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) might follow the example of the BIR. 

Although it is still more than 120 days away from the CDA deadline for submission of compliance reports by cooperatives, there are no indications they  could expect some leeway by way of easing some regulations and waiving the monetary penalties set to be imposed by CDA for not meeting the set deadlines.

Also, CDA has not released any report of damage suffered by cooperatives.  This is understandable, as their regional/extension office/s were also damaged, and their employees affected.  A CDA extension office had posted pictures of the damage incurred by their offices, in its Facebook page.

Some published reports say that the National Confederation of Cooperatives (Natcco) has estimated that some 350,000 of their members were affected and are being given assistance.

On the other hand, the CARD MRI was attributed as reporting that some 190,000 of their members were also adversely affected by the super typhoon.

Anyway, what if some cooperatives lost all their records to the typhoon and the storm surge?  Do they have the capability to reconstitute such documents and records?

Good thing if the operations of these cooperatives are computerized.  But this is doubtful.  CDA reports that some 75% of cooperatives are micro and small.  Computerization might still be not in their present capability.

Failing to submit the compliance reports (CAPR, audited financial statements, Performance/Social Audit Reports, etc.), the cooperatives would now be dunned with monetary penalties or declared not in good standing by CDA?

If so, this means that they would have no Certificate of Good Standing to present to BIR, among other documents cooperatives are required to submit every year, to keep their BIR Certificate of Tax Exemption current.

What are the options available to cooperatives?  What can you say about this?  Your comments are welcome.  (END).

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