It is bad enough that the country probably has the most number of taxes with the highest rates in Asia.
What makes it worse is the seeming systemic or built-in difficulty for all taxpayers to pay their dues to the state.
Isn’t this ironic?
When you are an entity collecting money from somebody else against their will or intent, shouldn’t you at least make the process bearable or hassle-free?
It is said that paying taxes is a basic expression of patriotism.
Therefore, the state has an obligation to the citizens to make the effort less painful or inconvenient.
At least this is what the Bureau of Revenue is trying to achieve under the Duterte Administration.
The BIR has committed to further making easier for businessmen to pay their taxes.
In a statement Saturday, the BIR said Revenue Commissioner Caesar R. Dulay met on Friday with leaders of the country’s major business groups, and they discussed how the latter “can cooperate and support to significantly improve, if not fully attain, the revenue collection goal for this year.”
The BIR has a collection target of P2.026 trillion in taxes this year.
Latest data from the country’s biggest tax collection agency showed that as of end-May, the BIR’s tax take amounted to P660 billion, up by over a tenth year-on-year but a fifth below the P833.9-billion target for the five-month period.
Business leaders also raised pending issues when dealing with the BIR, specifically, tax simplification, tax amnesty, suspension of audit, simplification of requirements for clearances/permits, revenue regulations with impact on their businesses, renewal of registration for tax exemption and policies on storage of documents.
In response to the businessmen’s concerns, Dulay “conveyed the bureau’s openness and transparency in its dealings with taxpayers,” the statement said.
“[Dulay] asked the business leaders to help the administration and the bureau by paying the revenue the government needs for its operations. He also expressed his openness to the business leaders’ suggestions and asked them to submit a list of revenue issuances they want the bureau to review or revisit, and to appoint technical people who would coordinate with the BIR on the matter,” it said.
During the meeting, Dulay cited several issuances he made in his first days in office, including the suspension of tax audits as well as the reduction in the processing and releasing time for a number of BIR certifications.
Among the business leaders who met with Dulay were the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s George Barcelon, Edgardo Lacson and Alfredo Yao; Employers Confederation of the Philippines’ Donald Dee; Philippine Exporters Confederation’s Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr.; Philippine Food Exporters Confederation’s Roberto Amores; Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s Henry Lim Bon, and Francis Chua of the International Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines as well as the Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce.