Tax-related digitalization projects set for national roll-out

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The Department of Finance (DOF) said on Wednesday, Jan. 27, that it expects the full nationwide implementation this year of several digitalization projects to improve tax administration in step with its goal of utilizing new technologies to boost tax compliance and fight corruption.

Photo credit: DOF

In a report to DOF secretary Carlos Dominguez III, the Revenue Operations Group (ROG) said it is targeting to complete the electronic tax exemption system (TES) of the DOF’s Revenue Office (RO) by the first quarter to allow qualified importers to register, file, and track online their duty- and tax-exemption applications.

In 2020, the RO processed 16,650 tax exemption applications, which translated into P12.5 billion in foregone revenues. These include 2,520 applications under the Bayanihan To Heal As One Act (Republic Act 11469 or Bayanihan 1) and the Bayanihan To Recover As One Act (RA 11494 or the Bayanihan 2), said DOG undersecretary Antonette Tionko, who heads the ROG.

In her report, Tionko said the Online Registration and Update System (ORUS) of the BIR is also expected to be operational by August. This front-end interfacing system will allow new business and individual registrations online, as well as the updating of taxpayer details.

Tionko said the pilot rollout of the BIR’s e-invoicing system will proceed as scheduled this year with the assistance of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).

As of November 2020, the service provider has already completed the business process reengineering and information strategy planning for the project.

With assistance from KOICA, it is now working on the development of the value-added tax (VAT) system, installation of the information communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and the capacity building aspect of the project, Tionko said.

“The e-invoicing system we are developing is capable of processing and storing electronic invoices issued by taxpayers on near real-time. This will make it easy to issue digital receipts and capture and upload the data in the receipt to a centralized database,” Tionko said.

This system also includes an e-sales reporting system capable of summarizing the data in electronic invoices and receipts stored in the database, she added.

The ROG also aims to partially complete the digitalization of the One-Stop-Shop Inter-Agency Tax Credit and Duty Drawback Center (OSS) by the first quarter, Tionko said.

The transfer of tax credit certificates (TCCs) and tax debit memos of the OSS are expected to be available online before the end of the year, Tionko said.

By December this year, Tionko said she expects the “Mabuhay Lane,” an ad hoc unit tasked to expeditiously process applications for tax and duty exemption to selected importers, to be adopted as an organic division of the RO.

She added the DOF, spearheaded by the ROG, is also expected to finalize double-taxation agreements with at least two of the Philippines’ fellow members in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) by January 2022. — PNA

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