09 June 2020 – The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) is closely coordinating with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) as they move their tax processing system online.

In BIR’s first webinar entitled “How to file and pay your taxes online (For corporate and nonindividual taxpayers)” streamed through their Facebook page, the agency presented several of their initiatives during the quarantine period. The Electronic Tax Software Provider (eTSP) is the system developed and maintained by BIR for electronically filing tax returns, including attachments, if any, and paying taxes due thereon. Now, corporations, partnerships, cooperatives, joint ventures, and government agencies can file taxes and submit their corresponding attachments all online. They also provided an introduction on the Electronic Submission of Audited Financial Statements (eAFS). BIR also discussed its expanded online payment methods through the help of its Authorized Agent Banks which now include Landbank, UnionBank, Development Bank of the Philippines, Paymaya, and Gcash.

“We are happy to see our agencies put effort in finding ways to serve the public better through digitalization. I want to congratulate the Bureau of Internal Revenue for being one of those agencies setting the example for others to follow.” ARTA Director General Jeremiah Belgica commented.

Last week, ARTA and BIR held a virtual meeting to discuss the reforms and initiatives of the agency in its effort to improve government service delivery in this time of pandemic. The meeting was attended by DG Belgica along with BIR Assistant Commissioners Teresita Angeles and Clavelina Nacar.

In the meeting, the BIR reported the extension of filing of Annual Income Tax Returns or ITRs until 15 June 2020. It may also now be done done online through eBIR Forms and Electronic Filing and Payment System facilities (eFPS). Taxpayers may now file and pay their taxes in the nearest Revenue District Office (RDO) as opposed to the previous arrangement of paying taxes to their assigned RDOs. Meanwhile, BIR has also extended the validity of Electronic Certificate Authorizing Registration (eCAR) from three (3) years to five (5) years. ARTA noted that BIR has the most number of complaints through ARTA but they also have the highest resolution rate.

DG Belgica urged other agencies to maximize technology, “We call on everyone to digitize, digitize, digitize. Our enemy is a virus but it shouldn’t stop us from doing our job. If you need help, ARTA is here to guide you in rationalizing your systems so that you can transition your processes
online, smoothly.”

The ARTA czar has been meeting with government agencies, particularly the “5 most complained agencies” mentioned in last SONA of the President, to streamline their processes and to recommend red-tape reduction measures that they could adopt, as stated in ARTA Advisories 2020-01 and 2020-02, which highly emphasizes digitalization of services.