April 26, 2018, 7:32 pm
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BIR urges e-filing of tax returns

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is planning to require all taxpayers to use its electronic-filing system over the long-term but admits this will require better online connectivity in the country.

Lanee Cui David, BIR deputy commissioner, said such plan will depend on the availability of internet connection all over the country. 

“I there is already 100 percent internet connection nationwide, then we can mandate all taxpayers to file electronically and to pay their taxes electronically,” David said.

David said in 2016, 83 percent of tax returns were filed through e-filing, a significant improvement from the 53 percent share in 2015.

But in the first half of 2017, only 74 percent of the BIR’s total collections were transacted through e-payments.

She said additional tax payment channels will also soon be  available.

The soft launch of the credit/debit bank payments through the Development Bank of the Philippines will be on September 15.

“There are ongoing talks with other banks like Land Bank,” David said.

She said  private banks such as Union Bank have also expressed interest to participate in the said transactions.

Other possible modes of payment that are being worked on are mobile payment, and over-the-counter through Bayad Centers.

“The investment in IT (information technology) is very big, and you know it keeps on increasing because more and more people are filing so you need more and more computers, storage, memory,” said Carlos Dominguez III, finance secretary.

“But it’s a good investment, this is worth it. I think the public gains by not having to line up. The idea is to make it simpler, to make it more enjoyable to pay your taxes,” Dominguez added.
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