STARTING January, taxpayers in Cebu City who want to pay their business permit fees can already do it through online banking.
Assistant City Administrator Annabeth Cuizon said the City Government will launch an online payment portal for business permit fees to fast-track the processing of payments.
“Business owners who are in Manila or other parts of the country may already pay for their business permits online. It will save them time because they will no longer come to City Hall and avoid the long queue in paying,” she said.
However, Cuizon clarified that only the payment portion of the entire renewal process of the business permit may be done online.
Taxpayers will still have to get their tax due assessment in City Hall or at the one-stop-shop for the renewal of business permits that the City will establish in Robinsons Galleria starting Jan. 4.
Cuizon said the program is in partnership with Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), after the bank entered into a memorandum of agreement with the City, which is part of the City’s thrust to provide taxpayers a hassle-free process.
“We received several complaints that our taxpayers are having a hard time in making payments at City Hall, especially that we don’t have enough parking slots. That’s why we made an effort to see how we can fast-track their transactions,” she said.
She explained that LBP clients will have to pay an additional P10 if making the payment through online banking while clients of other banks will pay P20 on top of their business permit fee.
They can only pay until 6 p.m. daily. LBP clients will have to sign up with the bank’s i-Access program to make online payments.
In Mandaue City, the City Government is reminding business owners that the renewal for real property and business taxes will start on Jan. 3.
Lawyer Regal Oliva, Mandaue City treasurer, said that aside from business and real property taxes, they also urge business establishment owners to comply with other clearances required for the renewal of their business permit, such as sanitary permit, fire and environmental clearances, and three nationally-mandated clearances such as registration before the Social Security System.
Oliva said that from Jan. 3 to 20, they will start accepting renewal of clearances at the Mandaue City Sports Complex.
The renewal processing will be open during weekends, and they will implement a “no lunch break” policy to ensure all business establishment owners and their representatives are accommodated immediately, Oliva said.
“So we are asking all the tax payers to process at the earliest time to prevent inconvenience.”
Business owners who fail to comply with the locally and nationally mandated clearances could face fines of up to P20,000.
Oliva explained that the penalties are steeper to encourage business owners to comply with their obligations.
This year, around 13,000 establishments in Mandaue City were able to comply with their clearances. Next year, they plan to implement intensive tax mapping after they fell short of this year’s target, compared to their recorded collections in 2015 where 14,000 business establishments were able to comply with their clearances that year. (RVC, FMD OF SUPERBALITA CEBU, JKV)