THE EDITOR: The Attorney General and the Minister of Finance have been touting that they are going to reduce crime by “following the money.” Great idea, if it is done properly.
However, why reinvent the wheel. Simply take a page out of Uncle Sam’s playbook. Adopt a single overriding number, similar to the American social security number, and mandate that every significant financial transaction is reported with this number — very significant purchase of shares, bonds, forex, opening of every bank and credit card account, purchase of land and houses, every purchase of vehicles and airplane ticket etc.
Have this data filed on a central database then let a revitalised BIR and FIU take over.
In one fell swoop this will significantly increase the tax revenue to the BIR. It will flush out the criminals, tax evaders, and money launderers. It will identify the self-employed and professionals who under-report their income and pay little or no tax, or those who rent several houses and apartments and do not include this in their tax returns. This will apply to blue and white-collar citizens alike.
Just my thoughts.
, Diego Martin