The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) managed to improve its tax take and widen its taxpayers base last year amid its digitalization transformation initiatives, complemented by its growing workforce of young and skilled professionals.
BIR Commissioner Caesar Dulay said 4.63 million business taxpayers were registered last year despite the COVID-19 pandemic, representing a 5.14 percent increase from the previous year’s 4.41 million registered businesses.
The BIR’s tax take steadily grew from P1.58 trillion in 2016, P1.78 trillion in 2017, and P1.96 trillion in 2018.
The highest so far was in the pre-pandemic year of 2019, when collections amounted to P2.19 trillion, before dipping to P1.96 trillion at the height of the COVID-19 global outbreak in 2020 and climbing back to P2.08 trillion in 2021.
Since the Tax Amnesty Law took effect in 2018, Dulay said the BIR was able to collect, as of June 2021, a total of P13.8 billion from 85,556 taxpayers that availed of the amnesty offered for tax on delinquencies and unsettled estate taxes.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III congratulated Dulay and the rest of the BIR for having “done a great job, particularly in introducing digital technology, which has really helped continue the tax collection effort, especially during the pandemic.”
With the BIR expanding the use of digital payment channels to settle tax dues, about P1.75 trillion or 84 percent of the P2.08 trillion tax collection in 2021 was collected electronically.
Likewise, the number of electronically filed tax returns of 23.78 million made up 93 percent of the 25.66 million filed returns in 2021.
“We can attribute our improved performance to our DX programs as well as to our increasing number of young workers who are quicker and more adept at learning digital skills,” Dulay said.
Under its DX roadmap, the BIR has so far rolled out its Internal Revenue Integrated System (IRIS) and the Enhanced Internal Revenue Stamps Integrated System (IRSIS).
The BIR has also put in place its Online Application for Tax Clearance for Bidding Purposes and Tax Compliance Verification Certificate; the e-Personal Equity and Retirement Account System; and its eAppointment, which received around 90,000 bookings from May to December of last year.
The BIR also launched in June last year a single hotline number and its Chatbot “REVIE” on its website to assist taxpayers with general inquiries, on top of being able to email the bureau regarding their concerns.