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“‘In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” – Benjamin Franklin

Since the assumption of Noynoy Aquino as the country’s 15th president, one of the most daring government agencies under the P-Noy goverment, is the BIR or the Bureau of Internal Revenue. Under its helm, BIR Commissioner, Kim Henares has been relentless in the agency’s drive to go after big-time tax evaders, call it a witch hunt, and at the same time, impressing upon the taxpayer community about their obligations to pay taxes.

Of special attention are the self-employed groups, in particular, the doctors and lawyers, considered as Professionals, who are suspected by the BIR to be underpaying in their taxes. The BIR’s position is that if these groups are paying correctly, the drive to collect taxes would have been easier because this category can contribute significantly in terms of the needed revenues.

Just how challenged is the BIR is anyone’s guess. It seems like paying taxes is not really a comfortable way of giving back to the government esp in the case of some, if not most self-employed individuals who are earning just enough to make both ends meet. So now when you hear the familiar government line that the coffer is empty, don’t be surprised because there is a grain of truth to it. Aside from graft and corruption in public and private offices, there are x no. of people in the working sector, employed, self-employed or in the business, who are underpaying taxes or not paying taxes at all. Well, I could only surmise this based on BIR’s declaration every time they fall short of their monthly collection.

The Bible has something to say on the paying of taxes. When the Pharisees tried to trap Jesus in his words by asking him if it is right to pay taxes to Caesar or not, Jesus asked them to show him a coin that is used for paying tax. When they brought him a denarius, Jesus asked them, “Whose portrait is this and whose inscription.” And they replied, “Caesars”. And here is the famous reply of Jesus:

And he said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God, what is God’s” (Matthew 22:15-22)

Hence, the practical application to this is that taxpayer should pay taxes to the government.

I believe that any incumbent government may not be able to find out the truth during her term as to who are paying or not, and more so, who are paying taxes correctly as a lot of paper trail have to be uncovered EXCEPT of course in a perfect world where a fail proof system is in place. Will this occur in our lifetime? Beats me. But the truth is, God knows.

So how do you pay the right taxes? For one, hire an accountant. It’s the first step to doing things the right way when it comes to paying taxes. Do not connive with your accountant to under declare your taxes because in doing so, it is still like stealing money from the government that is due them.

The bigger issue with taxpayers is that the taxpayer is not only accountable to the government but to God.  Every person who earns income should pay his taxes to the government dutifully and correctly.

In the same manner, if you are earning income therefore, you should also give a portion of your earnings to God through your home church if you adhere to the teachings of the Bible. The Bible says, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” – Malachi 3:10

Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s is a famous Bible verse and so is give to God what is God’s.

To whom are you more faithful in giving?

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