collector of internal revenue

Bureau of Internal Revenue (Philippines)

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) (Filipino, Kawanihan ng Rentas Internas) is an attached agency of Department of Finance. BIR collects more than one-half of the total revenues of the government.


The powers and duties of the Bureau of Internal Revenue are:

  • Assessment and collection of all internal revenue taxes, fees and charges; and
  • enforcement of all forfeitures, penalties, and fines connected therewith, including the execution of judgments in all cases decided in its favor by the Court of Tax Appeals and the ordinary courts;
  • It shall also give effect to and administer supervisory and police powers conferred to it by the National Internal Revenue Code and special laws.


Created on August 1, 1904 by Act No. 1189 of the Philippine Commission with only 69 officials and employees, the Bureau of Internal Revenue has remarkably grown through the years. JNO S. Ford was the first Collector of Internal Revenue. He was the bureau's steward for three years (1903-1907). He was succeeded by Ellis Cromwell (1909-1912), William T. Nolting (1912-1914) and James J. Rafferty (1914-1918). Rafferty was the last American collector of the Bureau. Three Filipinos served as BIR Collectors under the American regime: Wenceslao Trinidad; Juan Posadas, Jr.; and Alfredo L. Yatco.

The filipinization of the BIR started with Bibiano L. Meer, the 8th and 10th Collector (January 3, 1939-December 31, 1941; June 28, 1946-October 4, 1950). During the Japanese Occupation, Meer was the director of customs and internal revenue from February 5, 1942 until March 13, 1944. After the Liberation, he was replaced by Jose Leido, Sr. Leido was succeeded by Meer, who became collector for the second time.

Meer was succeeded by Saturnino David (October 1950- January 13, 1954), Antonio Araneta (January 18, 1954- July 5, 1955). In 1957, the position of collector was changed to commissioner.

Lilian Hefti, was head of the BIR who assumed office on September, 2007, but resigned on October, 2008, for health reasons.


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