Online tax payment facility to save BIR P230 M annually, says DOF
MANILA, Philippines — A digital tax payments system recently launched by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) using the PESONet electronic funds transfer service will save the government an estimated P230 million a year in transaction fees for taxes paid online.
A report submitted by the BIR to the Department of Finance also projected that this new interoperable digital bills facility has the potential to shift over 15 million tax payment transactions collected over the counter annually to the online payments service, making the duty of paying taxes more convenient, more efficient and less costly.
In a statement, Finance Undersecretary Antonette Tionko said this represents over 80 percent of the total number of tax payment transactions processed by the BIR each year, in sync with President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to cut red tape and improve the ease of doing business for the benefit of the public and the investor community.
Tionko said the BIR had bared in its report that the savings of P230 million will come from the lowering of transaction fees charged by authorized agent banks from P40.00 to P25.00 under the PESONet-enabled facility.
Launched by the BIR last month, the PESONet-enabled payment facility will allow millions of taxpayers to pay internal revenue taxes digitally, anytime, anywhere, through digital channels provided by banks.
The BIR launched the facility in partnership with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Bureau of the Treasury, Land Bank of the Philippines, and the digital payments industry.
Digital tax payments are currently available only via LandBank and the Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., but the Finance department plans to expand the service to include other financial institutions.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said after the project launch that “the BIR has launched a digital tax payments system allowing Filipinos to conveniently pay their taxes online using the electronic funds transfer service PESOnet, in line with the Duterte administration’s goal to cut red tape and improve the ease of doing business to better serve the public and attract more investors.”
The PESONet interoperable digital bills payment service is the latest payment infrastructure introduced by the payments industry under the central bank’s National Retail Payment System policy framework.
The goal of the E-Peso project is to set up an interoperable digital bills payment service that is safe, reliable, efficient to benefit a greater number of Filipinos, Dominguez said.
Both businesses and individuals make 4 million monthly payments to the government for taxes, business permit fees, licenses and social security contributions with an estimated value of almost P200 billion, according to a 2016 survey of monthly household expenses. /je
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