BIR launches ‘Hackatax’ contest for tax payment apps
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is inviting geeks to take part in its app development contest, dubbed “Hackatax”, to make tax payments easier.
In a statement, the BIR said the contest objective was to “address current taxpayer pain points” by simple tax forms and streamlined processes.
The aim was to better serve self-employed taxpayers, including owners of micro and small enterprises and professionals.
Developers who would take part in Hackatax, the BIR said, were “expected to develop solutions” to tax payment bottlenecks.
The BIR acknowledged that the process for individual taxpayers was cumbersome at present. One has to visit a BIR office, “go through the inconvenience” of filling out “long and complex tax forms” and paying over the counter.
The BIR said it hoped to address these bottlenecks through the internet. Proposals from IT students, software developers and tech startups would be accepted until Nov. 15. Prototype apps would be put on a shortlist by December and would be further developed.
Finalists would have to present finished apps by January. Three winners would be picked by the BIR. Their apps may be used ahead of the April 15, 2020 deadline for tax payments for 2019.
Winners would win cash, but the BIR did not mention any amount. They would also be certified as tax software providers of the BIR and admitted to “partner-startup incubator” programs.
The BIR said those taking part in the contest can make money out of their apps by marketing these “directly to taxpayers.”
Hackatax, the BIR said, was an initiative under its digital transformation drive.
The United States Agency for International Development, through its E-peso project, is supporting Hackatax in partnership with Developers Connect Philippines./TSB
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