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The Philippines begins the first phase of Central Business Portal

Registering a corporation with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and tax transactions with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) are now simpler, faster, and more convenient as the government launched the first phase of its Central Business Portal (CBP).

The CBP is an online system that offers a single site/one-stop-shop for all business-related information and transactions, such as registering a corporation, registering a business, and securing business permits/certificates, licences from said government agencies. It is created under RA No. 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business Act and is a project spearheaded by the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), in collaboration with the Department of Information Technology (DICT), BIR, SEC, PhilHealth, and Pag-IBIG.

For its initial implementation (Phase 1), the CBP shall be available to the domestic corporations, particularly one-person corporation, corporations with two to four incorporators; regular corporations whose incorporators are juridical entities and/or the capital structure is not covered by the 25%-25% rule, who intends to register their businesses.

The portal provides a Unified Application Form (UAF) for all agencies involved in the business registration process. Thus, citizens who are registering a corporation no longer need to accomplish and file several registration forms in different government agencies.

Also, the Commissioner of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) expressed his optimism that with the recently launched online registration platform, more taxpayers will find it easier and faster to comply with the registration requirements of the government. He hopes that it will put delays, bureaucratic gridlocks, and inefficiencies behind them. It will likewise put more taxpayers into the tax net thereby strengthening revenue collection efforts and eventually pump more lifeblood into the veins of government operations, the Commissioner added.

Among the BIR-related features of the CBP are online generation/issuance of Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) of new corporations; identification of the national internal revenue taxes which the new corporations will be liable to; online payment of the annual registration fee (ARF) of PHP500 and Documentary Stamp Tax (DST) of PHP30 and generation of BIR Electronic Certificate of Registration (COR). The electronic COR bears a Quick Response (QR) Code that serves as a security feature to prove the authenticity of the COR.

New corporations registering through CBP are likewise given an option to pay their ARF and loose DST manually. However, when they choose this option, they shall complete their business registration at the respective Revenue District Office (RDO) by submitting the printed CBP-generated documents, and other documentary requirements prescribed by the Bureau in its Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 15-2021.

Taxpayers that opted to pay electronically through the CBP shall, after securing/printing the BIR electronic COR through the CBP, proceed to the RDO indicated in the electronic COR, to buy its BIR Printed Receipts/Invoices (BPR/BPI) to start its business operation immediately after its registration. Otherwise, it may apply for Authority to Print (ATP) its receipts/invoices to be printed by BIR Accredited Printers.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, DICT has committed to eliminate bureaucratic red tape as well as streamline business registration processes in the country through the CBP.

The Director-General of the Anti-Red Tape Authority is also positive that the CBP will suppress corruption in the government. He further said that this will be possible by the lack of human intervention in the process. Every signature, every stop in the process, wherein there is a need to speak with a government employee is an opportunity for corruption. Therefore, streamlining the process online removes the stress caused by lining up and removal of fixers and corruption. It is also envisioned to cover the Department of Trade and Industries (DTI), social agencies in the country.

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