BIR Updates (RR No. 4-2010)

REVENUE REGULATIONS NO. 4-2010 issued on February 26, 2010 amends Revenue Regulations No. 11-2006 relative to the accreditation of tax practitioners/agents as a prerequisite to their practice or representation before the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

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The Revenue National Accreditation Board (RNAB) shall have original and exclusive authority to accept applications for accreditation of tax agents and practitioners (TAPs) belonging to General Professional Partnerships (GPPs) or incorporated entries engaged in accounting and tax consultancy, provided that the number of practicing TAPs belonging to such GPP or incorporated entity does not exceed ten (10).

It shall be the duty of the Accreditation Boards to act upon all applications to practice before the Bureau of Internal Revenue, to institute and provide for the conduct of accreditation, suspension or dis-accreditation proceedings and to perform such other duties as are necessary or appropriate to carry out their functions as prescribed by the Secretary of Finance, provided that any action or decision of the RRAB and the RNAB shall be final and appealable only to the Commissioner.

Individual applicants, GPPs and partners of GPPs who were already accredited with the Board of Accountancy (BOA) and Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) shall similarly be required to undergo the various processes for accreditation under these Regulations and shall no longer be automatically accredited and issued a BIR Certificate of Accreditation. For Individual Tax Agents, as an additional minimum qualification, applicants must have completed the minimum number of hours of continuing professional education (CPE) from BIR-accredited CPE providers for each year he practices with the BIR.

The duly accomplished accreditation application form shall be submitted, together with all documentary requirements, with the RRAB or RNAB of the place where the individual applicant or general professional partnership has his/its principal residence or place of business, whichever is applicable. Individual applicants shall submit, together with their duly accomplished application forms, the following additional documents:

a)      Proof of special competence in tax matters or tax practice, to wit:

  1. Certificate of Employment, i.e. meaningful experience in tax-related work;
  2. Written certification of CPE units from BIR-accredited CPE providers, with complete details on the course, dates and number of CPE hours taken by the TAP. For this purpose, the BIR shall prescribe the guidelines for the accreditation of and conduct of training by the CPE providers;

Pending the issuance of the guidelines by the BIR for the accreditation of CPE providers, the applicant shall only comply with the requirements prescribed in (a) to (c) and (d.1) of                          Section 5 of  RR No. 11-2006.
b)      A written undertaking under oath to preserve working papers within the period prescribed under Section 235 of the NIRC of 1997, as amended, and making them available to the Bureau’s authorized representative/s when required or directed to do so.

For Partners, Directors, Officers or duly authorized representatives of General Professional Partnerships duly registered with the SEC, in addition to the documentary requirements prescribed, the following additional requirements shall be submitted:

  1. Certification from the BOA if the said Partner, Director, Officer or duly authorized representative is a CPA; and
  2. A written undertaking under oath by the managing partner/director that the firm/entity shall fully cooperate with the Bureau by preserving its working papers within the period prescribed under Section 235 of the NIRC of 1997, as amended, and making them available to the Bureau’s authorized representative/s when required or directed to do so.

Each applicant shall pay a non-refundable fee of P 1,000.00 upon filing of application for accreditation. If the applicant is a general professional partnership, the fee shall be paid for each partner/s and any other authorized representative/s thereof. In the case of incorporated entities engaged in the accounting and tax consultancy services, the fee shall be paid by each of the applicant officer/s or designated representative/s thereof.

All accredited TAPs shall submit to the RRAB/RNAB on or before the last day of payment of annual registration fee the following documents:

a)      A list of the engagements dealing with any of the BIR Offices for the prior year; and

b)      A list of the CPE hours earned by the accredited tax agents/practitioners for the previous year.

The RRAB shall process the application/s and issue the certificate/s of accreditation of individuals, GPPs and incorporated entities with TAPs of 10 or less persons, while the RNAB shall process the application/s and approve the certificate/s of accreditation for individuals, GPPs and incorporated entities with TAPs of 11 or more persons. In cases where the individuals, GPPs and incorporated entities had previously accredited 10 or less TAPs and shall subsequently apply for accreditation of additional TAPs exceeding the 10 person threshold, said application shall be filed with the RNAB, which shall process the application/s and issue the certification/s of accreditation.

The RRAB and RNAB shall act upon all applications for accreditation by verifying the qualifications of an applicant, and the completeness of the required documentation. If an application is determined to be complete, and the applicant’s qualifications are found to be in conformity with the provisions of Section 4 of these Regulations, the application shall be stamped “RECEIVED” bearing the date the completed application was received by the RRAB/RNAB.

In all cases, the RRAB/RNAB shall have the exclusive authority to approve/disapprove applications for accreditation falling within their respective jurisdiction, which shall be acted upon within 30 days from receipt of the complete application.

Applicants whose applications for accreditation have been approved by the RRAB/RNAB shall be issued a Certificate of Accreditation signed by their respective Chairman. Such Certificate shall be valid for a period of 3 years from the date of issue, unless sooner revoked for cause. For purposes of easy identification, the Commissioner of Internal Revenue shall issue an identification card to each accredited tax agent or practitioner.

Application for accreditation which has been disapproved by the RRAB/RNAB may be appealed to the Commissioner. An adverse decision by the Commissioner may be appealed to the Secretary of Finance, who shall rule on the appeal within 60 days from receipt of such appeal. Failure of the Secretary of Finance to rule on the appeal within the prescribed period shall be deemed as approval of the application for accreditation of the appellant.

The resignation, retirement, death or incapacity of any partner of a general professional partnership who has been accredited by the RNAB/RRAB shall not result in the cancellation of the partnership’s accreditation but only that of the concerned partner’s accreditation. The partnership, however, must notify the RNAB, or the RRAB having jurisdiction over the partnership’s principal place of business, of such occurrence and shall surrender to the RNAB/RRAB the concerned partner’s Certificate of Registration or Identification Card for cancellation.

The following are additional grounds for suspension, cancellation or revocation of accreditation:

a)      “Reckless conduct” which is a highly unreasonable omission or misrepresentation involving an extreme departure from the standards of ordinary care that a practitioner should observe under the circumstances arising from non-compliance by the taxpayer-client with existing provisions of the Tax Code, its rules and regulations, including financial accounting standards and tax accounting rules. “Reckless conduct” on the part of the tax agent/practitioner shall be presumed when there is substantial underdeclaration of client-taxpayer’s taxable sales, receipts or income, or a substantial overstatement of its deductions as defined under Section 258 of the Tax Code, as amended, and such discrepancy is discovered by the Bureau in the conduct of its enforcement activities. A pattern of conduct is a factor that will be taken into account in determining whether a practitioner acted knowingly, recklessly, or through gross incompetence;

b)      Failure to comply with the completion of the CPE; and

c)       Consistent failure to indicate the BIR accreditation number in the documents filed with the BIR.

A petition for Disaccreditation/Suspension of an Accredited Tax Agent may be filed with the RRAB or RNAB having jurisdiction over the residence or principal place of business of the accredited tax agent against whom the Petition is being filed. Petitions found to have been filed by fictitious persons or organizations, upon verification by the RRAB or RNAB concerned, shall be dismissed for lack of factual or legal bases.

The RRAB or RNAB with whom a Petition for Disaccreditation/Suspension was filed shall conduct hearing(s) on such Petition, to allow both the Petitioner and the Accredited Tax Agent concerned to present their side of the case. In the conduct of hearings, a quorum is sufficient to convene the RRAB or RNAB. Upon termination of the hearing, the RRAB or RNAB shall decide by a majority vote of the members present and voting, whether to grant or deny the Petition.

In cases of disaccreditation or suspension, the RRAB or RNAB shall issue to the Tax Agent concerned a Notice of Disaccreditation/Suspension signed by its Chairman. A copy of such Notice shall be sent to the Petitioner. In the event that a Petition for Disaccreditation/Suspension is denied, the RRAB or RNAB shall inform both parties of such decision, in an official communication signed by its Chairman.

Only those Tax Agents/Practitioners, Partners or Officers of General Professional Partnerships, or Officers or Directors of corporate entities engaged in tax practice who have been issued Certificate of Accreditation or ID card shall be allowed to represent a taxpayer or transact business with the Bureau of Internal Revenue in representation of a taxpayer for the purpose(s) defined in these Regulations.

The BIR can refuse to transact official business with tax practitioners who are not accredited before it and shall require that certain official statements such as returns, financial statements, reports, protests, requests for ruling, official correspondence and other statements, papers or documents filed on behalf of a taxpayer be signed or certified to by accredited persons, which shall bear the following information below their signature:

a)      For individual’s (CPA’s, Members of GPPs, and other)

  1. Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN); and
  2. Certification of Accreditation Number; Date of Issuance, and Date of Expiry

b)      For members of the Philippine Bar;

  1. Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN); and
  2. Attorney’s Roll Number; and
  3. Mandatory Containing Legal Education (MCLE) Compliance Number.

The RNAB shall keep an up-to-date Master List of all suspended/disaccredited Tax Agents/Practitioners. This Master List shall be posted in the BIR website and/or shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in order that this list shall be readily available for reference by the public.

Within 60 days, prior to the expiration of the accreditation, Tax Agents/Practitioners may apply for renewal of their accreditation. – All accredited TAPs, whether engaged in individual practice, or belonging to the GPPs or incorporated entities engaged in accounting and tax consultancy, including lawyers engaged in tax practice before the BIR, shall pay the registration fee of Five Hundred Pesos (P500.00) in the Revenue District Office (RDO) having jurisdiction over the principal place of business of the individual practitioner, GPP or incorporated entity on or before January 31 of each year.

All currently accredited TAPs, whether engaged in individual practice, or belonging to GPPs or incorporated entities engaged in accounting and tax consultancy, including lawyers engaged in tax practice before the BIR, shall pay the registration fee of P 500.00 not later than March 145, 2010. TAPs who have previously been accredited but whose accreditation has since expired, or those TAPs who still have not filed their applications but have been practicing with the BIR are required to file their application not later than March 15, 2010.

Any TAP who violates any provision of RR No. 11-2006 or this Regulation shall, upon conviction for each act or omission be punished by a fine of P 1,000.00 or suffer imprisonment of not more than 6 months, or both.

Source: Bureau of Internal Revenue Official Website