Forget the Michelin guide, the Philippines government has created a new and unique ratings directory for dining at restaurants – ranking eateries by the taxes they pay rather than their menu in order to shame those cheating the state out of revenues.
According to AFP, the new rating system will be updated every week and published in all major newspapers and on the government finance department's website, hoping to encourage citizens to patronise tax-compliant restaurants.
“The goal of this campaign is to also increase transparency on tax payments and to encourage the people to be conscientious in paying the right taxes,” added a statement by the government on Wednesday."
The system is intended to be a twist on the world-famous Michelin guide. The latest edition rated local franchises of international fast food chains, as well as a leading Filipino fried chicken chain, Max's Restaurant, as the ‘best’ restaurants.
The Phillipines’ Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has been tasked with collecting about 1.253 trillion pesos ($28.9 billion) in taxes this year, up by nearly 18 percent from 2012, according to Inquirer News.
Besides clamping down on tax cheats, the government has also passed laws this year to raise "sin taxes" on cigarettes and alcohol, which it hopes can collect up to $800 million in revenue.
Other new rules include getting hospitals to withhold and remit income taxes of doctors and other medical staff; as well as imposing taxes on make-shift bazaar stores, known as tiangge, to pay taxes.
The World Bank estimates that the Philippines loses about $10.4 billion annually in potential revenue due to tax evasion. Additionally, local reports last year also suggested that oil smuggling was costing the country about $731 million a year in potential tax revenues.