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Yes, thrift shops should issue receipts

Are you fond of buying items from ukay-ukay? Are you aware that you can actually ask for your purchase receipts from such shops?
By Entrepreneur Staff |
Yes, thrift shops should issue receipts

The tiangge is the Philippine version of the American thrift shop and flea market, but whereas items sold at thrift stores and flea markets are those that have seen better days (“vintage,” in the language of fashionistas), items sold at tiangges are generally or presumed to be brand-new. More importantly, they are supposed to be imported and “branded,” qualities that appeal to our colonial mentality.

Thus, if you’re passionate about trademark and copyright issues, you might not enjoy the tiangge experience as much; however, for bargain-hunters and retailers alike who don’t care about those legal issues, tiangges with their low, low prices and brisk sales are truly a retail nirvana.

There would be occasional complaints against tiangges, of course, the most prevalent of which is the non-issuance of receipts for purchases. All businesses—and tiangges are no exception—are required by law to issue sales invoices or official receipts. Tiangge retailers that don’t issue invoices or receipts are presumed to be either under declaring their taxable sales or are unregistered with the BIR.

You shouldn’t patronize tiangge stores that don’t issue sales invoices or receipts. The Sunday School reason: Thou shalt not abet tax evaders! The practical reason: It is difficult, if not altogether impossible, to get replacements for defective purchases from them if you can’t offer proof of purchase.

Shoppers should report violators to the BIR immediately. For other complaints such as overpricing, mislabeling, and alteration of weights, violators should be reported to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Tiangge retailers have own their share of troubles, too, with respect to their operations. For instance, in a letter to Entrepreneur Magazine, Bianca, a neophyte tiangge retailer, noted the following problematic situations:

1. Some tiangge organizers fail or refuse to issue a receipt to stall lessees and retailers for rental payments.

2. There’s a low turnout of shoppers or retailers, or both, resulting in low sales.

3. The “full payment before event” policy of organizers puts the retailer at a
disadvantage in case of such problems as unsatisfactory facilities, space allocation problems, and inadequate power supply.

It’s a fact that most tiangge stores—also called “privilege stores” in tax parlance—are seasonal and therefore don’t bother to register with the BIR. Thus, to plug revenue leakages and generate an additional revenue source, the BIR issued Revenue Regulation No. 16-2003 (as amended by RR No. 24-2003). This regulation requires tiangge retailers or privilege store operators to pay advance percentage taxes in the amount of P50 to P150 per day, depending on the location of the tiangge. However, this amount is to be paid not to the tiangge organizer but to the BIR’s authorized agent bank or revenue collection officer.

Tiangge organizers are not required by law to collect rents in advance. However, perhaps taking off from the BIR’s own idea of collecting advance taxes to ensure full compliance, tiangge organizers have lately been requiring advance rent payments from stall lessees. There are three good reasons for doing so:

1. For administrative efficiency.
From the organizer’s perspective, it’s always easier, not to mention surer, to collect from ambulant stall lessees before the event to avoid the possibility of anyone not paying afterwards.

2. To protect the investment of the organizer. Tiangge organizers have expenses, too. They pay for rent (if they don’t own the premises), taxes, advertising and promotion, renovation, utilities, among several other charges. If advance rents were not collected from the stall lessees, the organizer would have no way of getting back his investment in the event that the lessees back out at the last minute.

3. To ensure the success of the event.
Retailers who are required to pay in advance are more likely to show up on the scheduled event-dates to avoid forfeiture of their rent payments.

All tiangge organizers are required by law to issue receipts for rents paid, advance or otherwise. If an organizer refuses to issue a receipt, the retailer should report the matter to the BIR immediately.

It is, in fact, only after the lease for the tiangge space is agreed upon that both parties become duty bound to perform their respective obligations. This means that with a lease agreement, the tiangge organizer is obliged, among other things, to provide reliable electricity with backup power; allocate acceptable space suited to the nature of the retailer’s goods; and maintain the facilities in the same condition as when the retailer first agreed to the lease. In turn, the retailer is obliged to, among other things specified in the lease agreement, pay rent and show up during the scheduled event dates.


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(02) 751.3330

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(02) 981.7000


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