Friday, December 03, 2021

BIR-Davao surpasses collection target amid pandemic


THE Bureau of Internal Revenue in Davao Region (BIR-Davao) said in an interview on August 11, 2021 that amid the restrictions and the closure of some establishments brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, it has surpassed its collection target by as much as 13.47 percent in 2020 and 5.83 percent this year, from January to July.

Assistant Revenue District Officer Abolhasan Balindong said that last year's collection reached P15,765,416,253 against its collection target of P13,894,461,000, while from January to July 2021, it has already surpassed its collection target of P9,774,603,000 reaching P10,344,403,565,000.

"This could be attributed to many factors. For one, the BIR has strengthened its tax information and education campaign or the tax-awareness program because we believe that a well-informed taxpayer is a compliant taxpayer," Balindong said.

He added that although a lot of establishments have closed, especially during the time when the region implemented Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), several others have also popped up and registered with the bureau the moment the quarantine status in the region loosened.

"Nakatulong din ng malaki ang mga tax amnesty na programa ng gobyerno (The tax amnesty program of the government has helped) in surpassing our collection target, if you recall we have tax amnesty on delinquencies, estate tax amnesty. At although we are still in community quarantine, may mga enforcement activities din tayo (we have enforcement activities) like the surveillance, tax mapping, audit, which we are still strictly implementing," he said, adding that not all businesses are severely affected by the pandemic.

BIR, Balindong said, is partnering with local business bureaus in tax surveillance, mapping, and audit to determine which businesses are still unregistered with the BIR and whether these are paying the right amount of taxes.

"May mga establishment kasi na tini-take advantage ang situation, although hindi naman lahat, so ini-explain na lang namin sa kanila na we are just doing our job at kailangan ng gobyerno ang taxes natin for its programs and projects (There were some establishments who took advantage of the situation, but we explained to them that we are just doing our jobs and the government still needs to collect taxes for its programs and projects), especially in battling this pandemic," he said.

Digitalizing BIR's system

Balindong also announced the bureau's digital transformation as a response to IATF guidelines disallowing conduct of events and activities that draw mass gatherings, even in government offices.

"BIR launched the e-appointment system, lahat ng mga (all our) client support services -- registration for business, applying for TIN (tax identification number), applying for authority to print, applying for transfer of registration, and other registration updates, and taxpayer hindi na kailangan pumunta dito sa BIR, kumbaga (does not need to go to BIR, instead) we discourage walk-in taxpayers, so through the e-appointment system mabibigyan ng priority (they will be given priority)," he said, adding that taxpayers do not have to wait any longer for them to be accommodated and their transactions to be completed.

He said this in turn has minimized the taxpayers from gathering in the bureau's office.

Another initiative of the bureau as part of its digital transformation is the IRIS or the Internal Revenue Integrated System, a replacement of the 24-year-old ITS (Integrated Tax System), a web-based program where taxpayers can transact with their tax-related concerns.

“Si ITS kasi maraming nagrereklamo na nagha-hang ang server, unlike dito sa IRIS na siguro dahil mas bago ang server, walang issue na nagha-hang (Many complained that they were encountering problems with ITS but with the IRIS, which is on a new server, there were no problems that were experienced,” he said.

Aside from that, the bureau also introduced the TIN verifier mobile application where taxpayers can verify their TIN using their smartphones.

They also introduced their chatbot, Revie, where taxpayers can inquire tax-related queries 24/7.

The bureau's e-appointment system and chatbot Revie can be found on BIR's website,

BIR-Davao also launched its Facebook page where taxpayers can send tax-related inquiries 24/7.

In terms of payment, BIR has partnered with different banking institutions and mobile payment apps, such as gcash and paymaya for the taxpayers convenience.


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