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  • Businesses are now under tighter watch by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), which issued new rules and procedures covering “issue-based” value-added tax (VAT) audits. “(This is) to increase audit coverage of VAT-registered taxpayers,” Revenue Memorandum Order 59-2016 dated Sept. 19 said. “The order will cover issue-based audit/investigation of VAT liabilities of VAT-registered taxpayers,”  it added. The new audit system will be  on top of  BIR’s regular VAT audit program. BIR officials were not responding to request for further comment. While the public generally pays VAT through purchases, those required to file returns are businesses, sellers, leasers and importers with aggregate annual gross sales of more than P1.9 million. Returns are filed with the BIR quarterly, according to the National Internal Revenue Code. 

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