QUEZON CITY -- For the second year in a row, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has shown an impressive tax collection performance despite the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic both in businesses and tax administration.
Based on tentative report presented during the BIR Command Conference attended by top revenue officials last January 26, the Bureau’s total gross collection in 2021 (inclusive of tax refund) has reached P 2.08 Trillion, exceeding its previous year’s collections by P 126.83 Billion or 6.48%. Said gross tax collection is higher by P 1.95 Billion or .09% compared to the goal set by Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC).
Commissioner Caesar R. Dulay congratulated the revenuers for good collection performance amid closure of some businesses, revenuers getting infected by COVID-19, strong typhoons and other challenges in tax administration. He attributed the Bureau’s performance to the professionalism, competence and teamwork that revenuers have shown amid the pandemic. “We really lived out our theme for 2021, Sama-Sama sa Hamon ng Panahon... Everybody supported each other... No one group could have done it if we did not act professionally and with competence,” he said.
In her message to revenuers during the conference, Finance Undersecretary Antonette C. Tionko congratulated the Bureau “for always rising to the challenge of raising much-needed revenues to provide a comfortable life for Filipinos”. “The past 2 years have been particularly difficult for the country…With the BIR’s proactive initiatives, we have built a tax system that upholds simplicity, fairness and efficiency while ensuring a sustainable and stable stream of revenues for the country...With the BIR’s collections, the agency has made possible the efficient implementation of the Build Build Build Infrastructure Program and expanded social services,” Undersecretary Tionko said.
As discussed during the conference, the tax enforcement activities that significantly contributed to the Bureau’s overall collections are vigorous implementation of the Run After Tax Evaders Program, Oplan Kandado Program and Tax Compliance Verification Drive. These activities resulted in filing of 137 cases with the Department of Justice with aggregate tax liabilities of P 4.39 billion; closure of 523 establishments, and collection of P 2.948 billion; and tax mapping of 120,220 business establishments nationwide with tax collected amounting to P 122.40 million.
Other programs with significant impact to 2021 collection are the continuing Tax Amnesty Program, broadening of tax base, Taxpayer Awareness Program, and recruitment and promotion. Through tax amnesty, the Bureau has aided 45,346 Filipinos who failed to comply with the tax regulations of the Bureau on time and brought in revenue of P 3.59 billion. Through broadening of tax base, on the other hand, the Bureau posted a 4.94% increase, with 4,625,017 business taxpayers as of November 2021 from previous year’s business registered taxpayers of 4,407,353.
The implementation of the Taxpayer Awareness Program has tremendously improved the social media presence of the Bureau. Revenue offices nationwide have maximized the Facebook, YouTube, Zoom meetings/webinars and other digital platforms. The National Office FB page alone had recorded 9.6 million reach in 2021. These joint initiatives of revenue offices had resulted to increased taxpayer awareness, improved taxpayer satisfaction and compliance, and good public image and tax collections.
Said programs and initiatives have been intensified through the Bureau’s Digital Transformation Program, which covers forty-nine (49) projects. Out of this number, fourteen (14) have already been launched/implemented. These are Internal Revenue Integrated System (IRIS); TIN Verifier Mobile Application; Online Application for Tax Clearance for Bidding Purposes and Tax Compliance Verification Certificate; ePERA System; eAppointment; Contact Center Solution with Chat Module; Online Survey Feedback System; New Business Registration or Newbizreg Portal; Enhanced Internal Revenue Stamps Integrated System; Enhancement and Application Support/Maintenance of IRSIS for Tobacco Tax Stamps; Digital Economy Technical Team/ BIR Rulings System; Nationwide BIR Payroll System; Expanded Biometrics Time and Attendance System; and Property Management System.
Because of the efforts of the BIR towards digitalization, 99.63% of Annual ITRs filed in 2021 were electronically filed; taxpayers are given more electronic payment channels to conveniently pay taxes; more tax information and queries are made available/answered; services, such as registration, are made available 24/7; among others that continue to elevate taxpayer experience and satisfaction with the Bureau’s services, and build good public image of the Bureau.
“We have created an image that is worth recognizing,” Commissioner Dulay said. Referring to the recent recognition given by the Civil Service Commission to the Bureau as the Top 1 agency with 100% Resolution Rate of concerns lodged thru the Contact Center ng Bayan, he added “No. 1 ang BIR in addressing the questions (concerns) of the public. That reflects the kind of image that all of you have developed through the years, especially during this time of pandemic. It is teamwork, nag sama-sama tayo and I'm sure that for the next six months or even for the next administration...You will continue to do what you have been doing...You will continue to do your work professionally and with competence.”
To date, the Bureau has received several recognitions not only from the CSC-CCB but also from the House of Representatives and government agencies and organizations, such as the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), 8888 Citizen's Complaint Hotline, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Career Executive Service (CES) Board and the Government Financial Management Innovators Circle (GFMIC) Inc.
"Through the years, I am happy to note, and I have to congratulate really the revenuers for the feedback given by taxpayers since I came in, kahit patapos na, they recognize the changes in the BIR, especially the way our frontliners, all of you who treat the taxpayers who come to your office…Mga kasama, congratulations! Tuloy ang laban, tuloy ang tulong natin sa Pilipino…alam n’yo ang ginagawa n’yo at nasa puso ninyo ang kapakanan ng Bayan, Pilipino at nating lahat, Commissioner Dulay concluded. (BIR)