Crisis hastens digital transformation
If it’s any consolation, the ongoing COVID-19 crisis is helping fast-track digitalization of government transactions, including tax payments, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said on Monday.
In recent years, “the majority of our clients have opted for the electronic-filing option in settling their tax obligations,” Dominguez said in a speech during the virtual announcement of the “Hack-A-Tax” innovation challenge winners.
Dominguez said that in 2019, the taxes paid through electronic channels amounted to P1.8 trillion, or 84 percent of the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s (BIR) total collections last year.
“Payments collection through additional electronic channels, targeted for small businesses and individual taxpayers, amounted to P1.2 billion in 2019, a 94-percent increase from the previous year,” Dominguez added.
Dominguez said that before the COVID-19 crisis struck, it helped that tax-collection had been increasing in recent years such that the share of the country’s tax revenues to gross domestic product (GDP) rose to 14.5 percent last year from 13 percent in 2015.
“We were in a very good fiscal position by the time the COVID-19 pandemic hit us. The experience of dealing with this contagion will definitely hasten our digitalization in many aspects of our national life,” Dominguez said.
“The Philippine government is gearing up for this. While we expect lower revenue collections this year because of all the economic devastation brought about by the global health crisis, we are supported by strong macroeconomic fundamentals and we look forward to returning to the path of high growth when this emergency is over,” Dominguez added.
“Increased use of digital technologies will help us bounce back faster and stronger. The BIR is well-prepared for the new normal,” according to Dominguez. INQ
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