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Philippine Bureau of Internal Revenue Plans 49 Projects for Digitalisation

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has a total of 49 projects in the first phase of its ten-year Digital Transformation (DX) Roadmap, of which 14 have already been launched or implemented as of the last quarter of 2021. BIR noted that 26 of the 49 DX projects involve elevating taxpayer experience and innovating BIR service processes. Nine are on enhancing administration and the BIR’s support services and another eight are on aligning policies to a BIR digital workplace. Six more are on enabling the digital backbone of the Bureau.

The BIR said its ongoing DX programmes, which have expanded the range of electronic payment channels that allow taxpayers to file and pay their taxes online, enabled the Bureau to continue collecting taxes even amid the mobility restrictions that had been put in place during the pandemic. In 2020, the share of tax payments from e-payment channels amounted to 85% of its total collection.

The country’s Finance Minister had ordered all agencies attached to the Department of Finance (DOF) to implement their respective digital transformation programmes long before the pandemic. Among the DX projects already launched include its Internal Revenue Integrated System (IRIS), which serves as the Bureau’s central tool and repository to process taxpayer information. BIR also uses the Enhanced Internal Revenue Stamps Integrated System (IRSIS), which is an application that manages the ordering, production, distribution, affixing, and tracking of revenue stamps to monitor the proper payment of excise taxes on tobacco products.

The BIR has a single hotline number and its Chatbot “REVIE” on its website to assist taxpayers with general inquiries on top of being able to email the bureau regarding their concerns. Both the hotline and chatbot projects were launched last June. The BIR has also put in place its Electronic Filing and Payment System (eFPS), Electronic Fund Transfer Instructions System (eFTIS), and other e-payment channels to allow taxpayers to pay taxes online.

In 2020, the BIR recorded 447,188 ePayers, representing an increase of 472% or 369,070 taxpayers when compared to the number of ePayers in 2015 that totalled just 78,118. The BIR has made e-payment channels such as GCash, the Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank) ePayment System, and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) PayTax Online System available to taxpayers since 2017. In 2020, about 94% of the tax returns were already filed electronically. From the 1.91 million e-payment transactions made with the Bureau in 2015, this number rose to 4.01 million electronic payment transactions in 2020, representing an increase of 110%. The BIR is also implementing other digitalisation projects to improve its services, including:

eAppointment: An online or digital medium accessible at the BIR website that taxpayers may use to book or request to schedule a meeting with revenue officers.

Online Application for Tax Clearance for Bidding Purposes (TCBP) and Tax Compliance Verification Certificate (TCVC): This enables taxpayers to file applications for Tax Clearance for bidding purposes and TCVC online through an email that will forward applications to the concerned revenue office.

Online Survey Feedback System: It is an online system developed to get feedback from taxpayers on the quality of services delivered by BIR frontline offices.

New Business Registration Portal: An electronic registration portal that lets taxpayers submit their applications for business registration through email.

TIN Verifier Mobile Application: A mobile chat application available to the public for their Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) inquiries and verification.

Asset Information Management Programme (AIMP) Phase 2: This system enhances data-sharing with other government agencies to build up taxpayer asset databases to aid in tax administration and tax policy analysis.

Electronic One-Time Transaction System (eONETT System): This enables taxpayers to transact their ONETT online anytime, anywhere.

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