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Digital tax payments up 92%

Joshua Lao

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Taxpayers line up to submit requirements to a Bureau of Internal Revenue officer (left) to pay their dues. The procedure has been made faster through the electronic funds transfer service called PESONet. afp

In line with government’s aim to incorporate innovation into its operations, the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s (BIR) collections through digital channels showed a notable improvement in 2019.
Department of Finance (DoF) data indicated a 60 percent increase in electronic tax payments reaching 446,753 in 2019 compared to just 278,602 transactions in 2018.

“Tax payments collected by the (BIR) through electronic channels amounted to P1.2 billion in 2019, representing a 92 percent increase from the previous year’s P626.35 million,” the DoF said.

According to DoF, this significant improvement in digital collections can be traced to the assimilation of PESONet in tax payments.

PESONet catalyst

“Tax payments processed online increased remarkably in 2019 when the BIR, on 15 August 2019, launched PESONet, an electronic funds transfer service which enabled the taxpayers to conveniently pay their taxes anytime and anywhere,” the agency said.

“PESONet aims to shift over 15 million over-the-counter tax payment transactions collected annually to this online payments service, in sync with President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to cut red tape and improve the ease of doing business for the benefit of taxpayers and the businesses,” it added.

BIR Deputy Commissioner Arnel Guballa said that electronic 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.

Also, the BIR executive said that streamlining frontline services and enhancing the Bureau’s ease of doing business were among their goals for 2020.

Faster service

Moreover, DoF Undersecretary Antonette Tionko applauded the proposed shift.

“The BIR’s is to further make tax payments convenient, efficient and less costly for taxpayers and at the same time, saving around P230 million yearly in transaction fees for the agency,” Tionko said.

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