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She’s gonna getcha

She’s gonna getcha Manila Bulletin  –  Sun, Aug 3, 2014 Stories from the grapevine suggest that Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) commissioner Kim Jacinto Henares makes for an interesting guest. During social events, she would allegedly observe other guests and look at them from head to toe, and then check out what they’re wearing or what car they arrived in. Then, she would ask about these guests and what they do for a living.

watches In turn, the guests would keep their expensive jewelry and watches away from the prying eyes of the chief tax collector. Others say that some of the guests leave when they see even a strand of hair of the infamous commissioner.

best replica watches [caption id="attachment_169812" align="alignleft" width="162"] TOP SHOT Shooting hobbyist commissioner Kim Henares, holds a Tavor assault rifle replica. (Image by PINGGOT ZULUETA)[/caption]

best replica watches “You know, I am by nature, very observant even before I became BIR commissioner,” Kim Henares says unapologetically. “In the first place, as far as I am concerned, I want everyone to be rich because if you’re rich, you pay taxes. As long as you pay the right taxes, then we don’t have a problem. If you want to flaunt your wealth, go ahead. But if you don’t pay the right taxes, then we have a problem.”

rolex replica watches But unlike these guests, Henares is not as conscious of what she wears and drives in public. While other public officials drive top-of-the-line luxury cars and flaunt their Italian designer clothes, Henares leads a low-key lifestyle. Her no-fuss, straightforward demeanor says it all.

fake watches If one looks inside her handbag the most expensive item in it is her iPhone. In her closet is a variety of mid-tier clothing brands such as Lacoste, Zara, H&M, Giordano, and Marks & Spencer. She frequents Rockwell’s Powerplant mall—not to shop, mind you—but to dine at her favorite restaurants and tea salon (Kulinarya, Franco’s, and TWG). She favors classic Filipino cuisine like tuyo, dilis, kare-kare, and bagoong. And her latest splurge to date? A 16-digit calculator!

swiss replica watches “I don’t really shop; I just walk around and eat. I seldom go out. When I shop, I’m not very particular with labels, it’s the fit and the design that count. We don’t lead a luxurious life. We have a normal life,” says Henares, who is wearing her usual work pants, paired today with a yellow and white-striped top under a black cardigan, accessorized with a multi-chain necklace.

She says that there’s nothing wrong with living First World lives in a Third World country, but these people need to understand how others may feel about it. Being generous is one thing but showing off is another.

“Actually it’s their right to lead their lives but of course, we have to be sensitive to the people around us. I always say, people who are actually really rich are the ones who are low key. The nouveau riche, they are really shoving it in your face. They are the ones who are matapobre. What’s important is breeding. Life is a cycle, you can go up, you can go down. Today, you might be the richest person, tomorrow, you might be the poorest. You cannot bring the material things to your grave,” she cautions.

Her only luxury? “Time.” For a busy public official, she doesn’t get a lot of rest. Sleep, along with an uninterrupted day, is what this lady considers her indulgence. After all, she has one of the most difficult jobs in government.


Last August 1, BIR celebrated its 110th anniversary and they have a lot to celebrate. Since she was appointed by the President, the revenue agency has been breaking records in its year-on-year collection. In 2012, they broke the P1 trillion mark, collecting a total of P1.017. Last year, the collection further increased to P1.217 trillion. The government’s ambitious target for this year is P1.456 trillion.

A graduate of accounting at De La Salle University; Law at Ateneo de Manila University; and Masters of Law at Georgetown, she models her methods after the United States’ Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Her vision is for BIR to be like the American agency that is feared yet followed by its people.

Despite the record numbers, some citizens are clueless about taxes while others don’t care to pay at all. Henares says that out of 10 Filipinos, about six don’t know how to pay taxes and half of the remaining four don’t pay the right taxes.

In fact, some people use ridiculous excuses just to avoid paying their dues. For instance, some celebrities declare their “talent fees” as money that went straight to a foundation (bogus NGOs perhaps?). Still others make it appear that their money was “donated” to them like they were charity cases. And, of course, the multiple-TIN-numbers-I-did-not-know-about excuse.

The bureau has filed a total 270 cases against tax evaders but she wouldn’t reveal who the biggest tax evaders are. “Just look at the list of people we filed cases against,” she says. And if it were up to her, she will put all tax evaders straight to jail!

“Pay your tax correctly so you don’t have to worry about it, because if you don’t pay your taxes correctly and we catch you, you will be paying more than the 32 percent tax,” she cautions. “There’s surcharge and interest, so you will have to pay more and you will lose more. That’s the lesson and that’s the reason you have to pay the right taxes.”

For Henares, absolutely everybody has to pay taxes, no matter how small or big their income is, whether you’re a tiangge vendor or one of the world’s top athletes, because nobody is above the law.

“I’m just doing my job, there’s nothing personal. First, whatever I do is required by law,” she says.

And if you were to ask her, government’s expenditures for the past four years has been worth it regardless of the endless corruption controversies (PDAF and DAP anyone?). It is where she thinks tax should be, for the benefit of the people.

“Actually where we are putting it is we’re investing in our people. Tax money is really going to support the less fortunate members of our society, trying to make them come out of poverty. Like we invested a lot on our health, education, and infrastructure. I think this is just the right investment. And as taxpayers, they should know where their money goes.”

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