Another restaurant padlocked

BIR closes 4 branches of Tuna Express for under declaration of sales

THE REGIONAL office of Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has padlocked yesterday all the four branches of Tuna Express Kamayan Grills, a homegrown restaurant, in the city for alleged under declaration of sales worth P6 million this year.

 To reopen the branches, lawyer Nuzar Balatero, BIR regional director, said the restaurants owned by sole proprietor Lanie Corbita has to pay value-added tax (VAT) deficiency of P752,000.

 The bureau, basing on its order, gave five days for the proprietor to pursue VAT compliance.

 “For this year, we computed the deficiency that totaled to P752,000 from its basic VAT that was P684,000. The owner of Tuna Express has to immediately pay the deficiency,” Balatero told the reporters in an interview.

 The BIR simultaneously closed the branches of Tuna Express Kamayan Grills in Roxas, Artiaga, Duterte and Matina following the order penned by BIR Commissioner Caesar Dulay on Oct. 23.

 The order was served yesterday to Corbita’s father as the owner was not around.

 “This order shall remain in effect until it is lifted,” Dulay said in its order, noting on the taxpayer’s alleged neglect and violation of the National Internal Revenue Code.

 Last year, Balatero said the Tuna Express allegedly under declared its sales that amounted to about P18 million. He said they were also investigating if its total VAT deficiency last year was around P2 million.

 “The temporary closure of Tuna Express would serve as a warning to other entrepreneurs. They have to comply the tax code and prevent from under declaring their sales,” Balatero said.

 The BIR is strictly monitoring establishments if they have under declaration of sales of more than 30%. In a statement of Department of Finance, the tax code cites that “an under declaration of more than 30% constitutes fraud tantamount to tax evasion.”

 Last month, the BIR XI padlocked the three branches of Afhat Seafood Restaurant for understatement of taxable sales by 30%. The agency reported that the restaurant underdeclared income of P63 million in 2015, P74 million last year and P17 million in the first quarter this year. Afhat reopened days later after it settled the case.