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BIR to streamline documentary requirements for MSMEs

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By Chino S. Leyco

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has assured the Department of Finance (DOF) that it will work double-time on streamlining processes for the documentary requirements of micro, small and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs) renewing business permits following the congressional approval and implementation of the first package of the tax reform law.

In a statement, BIR Commissioner Caesar Dulay said cutting down the requirements needed to register or renew permits for businesses is now ongoing at the bureau.

“After the (tax reform) package, we’ll go into that streamlining process, although it’s an ongoing work being done by BIR. Even the procedures, we will cut down on the documentary requirements,” Dulay informed Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III during a recent Department of Finance (DOF) Executive Committee (Execom) meeting.

The BIR chief made the assurance after the finance chief told the agency officials that he has received complaints from MSME owners about the tedious process they have to undergo to renew their Certificates of Registration (CORs) in the bureau’s regional offices.

“Let’s cut down on the documentary requirements,” Dominguez told Dulay.

To renew a business permit, the applicant must first secure a barangay clearance and a mayor’s business permit renewal that requires several documents such as the original copy of the mayor’s permit for the previous year, proof of payment for the permit, income statements, contract of lease, among others, which could take about one to two weeks.

After obtaining these permits, the applicant can now proceed to the BIR to have the COR renewed with the payment of an annual registration fee for every separate or distinct establishment or place of business.

In a recent forum, Dominguez said the government is instituting reforms to improve further the ease of doing business.

These include the setting up of online trading platform TradeNet to fully automate licensing, permit-issuing, clearance and certification systems; and the Inter-Agency Business Process Interoperability program that aims to simplify and harmonize import and export documentation.

The DOF on Dominguez watch has also formed an anti-red tape task force to cut redundant requirements and processes in the bureaucracy.

In a separate forum, Dennis Reyes, the DOF’s technology modernization architect, said various Cabinet departments are also  fine-tuning the  establishment of the Philippine Business Data Bank (PBDB) down to the local government level.

The PBDB will involve the Department of Trade and Industry, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the country’s economic zones and over 1,600 local government units, Reyes said.

This Data Bank will allow the online processing of business permits by LGUs as part of the Duterte administration’s continuing initiatives to improve the ease of doing business in the country.

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