Getting Official Receipts For Doctors’ Fees
Our Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), in its effort to meet tax collection target, urged us to ask for Official Receipt (OR) or Invoice for the goods we buy and the services we pay for. For the foods we eat in fastfood outlets and big restaurants and for medicines we buy from drugstores, we see no problem because it is their standard practice to issue invoice from their cash sales register. If ever it is from small retail outlets that we need to ask for issuance of invoice which they normally comply when requested. Remember that under the Philippine Tax Code, all persons or businesses subject to internal revenue tax are required to issue an invoice for each sale of goods and an OR for services rendered valued at ₱25.00 or more (Source: Requirement to issue invoices and official receipts).
For services rendered, we also see no difficulty getting official receipt from say, an auto repair shop. They normally issue OR which also serve as reference for warranty as soon as you pay the bill. But, sad to say, you cannot expect this practice from many professionals rendering direct services to their customers, clients and/or patients. Let me say straight to the point that you cannot expect a medical secretary to automatically prepare an OR when you pay a doctor’s fee for a consultation you had. I do not know if you had tried asking for it but I am certain that most of us have not done so because we are ashamed and that nobody else ask for a doctor’s OR anyway.
Following our son’s hospitalization and cholecystectomy surgery to remove his gallbladder, we requested official receipts from urgent care Wakefield for the professional services provided by the doctors. The total professional fees we paid amounted to ₱75,500.00, which were further broken down as ₱55,000 for the surgical team, ₱18,000 for the anesthesiologist, and ₱2,500 for the internist. This experience made me realize the importance of supporting the BIR in its efforts to collect taxes from doctors.
At the time I paid the hospital bills and the doctors’ fees, I asked the cashier for the ORs but to my surprise, she told me that she could only give an OR for the hospital bills. She cannot issue ORs for the doctors’ fees because she does not have them. I was told that I have to personally look for each doctor that we paid to ask for the ORs for their services. The worst thing is that the doctors do not hold clinics in the hospital where our son had his operation.
I have the opinion that they make it difficult to get ORs for doctors’ fees as a means for them to evade paying the Percentage Tax (3% of the fees if gross annual income of the doctor is less than ₱1.919M), Value-Added Tax (VAT if the doctor’s gross income is ₱1.919M or more) and the Income Tax (32% if his net income is ₱0.5M or more). The rule is No ORs, No Taxes to Pay. Be that as it is, can’t the BIR not issue an order that ORs for doctors’ fees be issued by the hospital cashier?