THE BUREAU of Internal Revenue (BIR) is aiming to have all taxpayers file their returns and pay their taxes through electronic means.
“Our objective is to make that a hundred percent — all taxpayers electronically filing and paying (taxes),” BIR Commissioner Lilia C. Guillermo said during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Wednesday.
As of end-August, around 98% of taxpayers already use the BIR’s digital platforms. The BIR already has an Electronic Filing and Payment System, Electronic Fund Transfer Instructions System, and other e-payment channels.
“We are mandating our large taxpayers, as well as our medium taxpayers, to do electronic filing and paying with us. No option, because some of them would still like manual filing because they know that if they manually file, it will not be easy for us to automate our LoAs (Letter of Authority) on them,” Ms. Guillermo said.
An LoA authorizes a BIR officer to examine a taxpayer’s books to ensure proper taxes are paid.
The digital transformation programs of the BIR and the Bureau of Customs (BoC) have been allocated P3.56 billion under the 2023 proposed national budget.
“In so far as infrastructure is concerned, we thank the Budget department [for] giving us [funds] to upgrade our infrastructure, especially [since] we are after online sellers [and] online services in the Philippines and foreign based ones, once [the Internet Transactions] bill is turned into law,” Ms. Guillermo said.
Last month, Ms. Guillermo said that only 15 out of 100 large taxpayers have responded to the BIR’s invitation for digitalization through its e-receipts and e-invoicing system.
“The BIR shouldn’t be the only one undergoing digital transformation… [for] audits to be done very conveniently,” Ms. Guillermo said then in the vernacular.
In August, the bureau also announced its launch of an Online Registration and Update System in 2022 or 2023, in compliance with its Digital Transformation Roadmap.
The BIR is expected to generate P2.39 trillion in revenues this year and P2.67 trillion next year.
The BIR has been transitioning into digital operations after adopting a 10-year digitalization roadmap in 2019. — D.G.C.Robles