By Chino S. Leyco
Tax payments collected by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) through Internet platforms nearly doubled last year following the introduction of the government’s electronic services.
In a statement, BIR Deputy Commissioner Arnel SD. Guballa said that tax settlements coursed through electronic channels reached ₱1.2 billion last year, up by 92 percent compared with ₱626.35 million in the previous year.
The number of electronic tax payments in 2019 also jumped by 60 percent to 446,753 transactions from 278,602 in 2018, Guballa said.
E-payments were done through the Union Bank Online Tax Payment Facility using automated teller machines or debit cards, the PayMaya smartphone app and the PESONet fund transfer service.
In particular, Guballa noted that payments processed online “remarkably” increased when the BIR launched the PESONet, an electronic funds transfer service allowing taxpayers to pay their taxes anytime and anywhere, in August in 2019.
PESONet aims to shift over 15 million over-the-counter tax payment transactions collected annually to this online payments service as well as to cut red tape and improve the ease of doing business for the benefit of taxpayers and the businesses.
For this year, Guballa said that among the BIR’s targets are to further simplify its paper application forms and reduce processing times, the number of documentary requirements and signatories for taxpayers.
This aims to enhance the bureau’s delivery of frontline services and help improve the ease of doing business, the BIR official said.
Finance Undersecretary Antonette Tionko said that the shifting of over 15 million over-the-counter tax payment transactions to PESONet represents more than 80 percent of the total number of tax-payment transactions processed by the BIR each year.
The BIR’s goal is to further make tax payments convenient, efficient and less costly for taxpayers and at the same time, saving around ₱230 million yearly in transaction fees for the agency, according to Undersecretary Tionko. (Chino S. Leyco)