DOF chief sees BIR take in 2021 exceeding target, again
MANILA, Philippines—Rosier economic prospects, declining tax evasion and big business support for digital payment schemes were likely to help the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) surpass its collection target of P2.08 trillion in 2021.
“Now more than ever, the whole nation relies on the BIR’s bold commitment to provide the revenues needed to support our people and push our country forward towards a strong economic recovery,” said Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, who supervises the country’s biggest tax-collection agency, during the BIR’s 2021 national tax campaign launch on Wednesday (Feb. 17).
“With digitalization, improved administrative systems, and the dedication of the men and women of the bureau, I have no doubt that the target will not be just met, but will be exceeded again,” Dominguez said.
In 2020, the BIR collected P1.94 trillion in taxes, exceeding its downscaled 2020 goal of P1.69 trillion.
Amid a pandemic-induced recession, the Cabinet-level Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) in 2020 reduced the BIR’s collection target several times from the original goal of P2.58 trillion as thousands of businesses closed down and millions of Filipinos lost their jobs at the height of the longest and most stringent COVID-19 lockdown in the region.
Even the BIR’s 2021 target was below the record P2.18-trillion actual tax take in 2019, pre-pandemic.
Dominguez said it helped that there were fewer cases of tax evasion, which Internal Revenue Commissioner Caesar Dulay attributed to the BIR’s sustained run after tax evaders (RATE) program, which haled tax cheats to court.
Under Dulay’s watch since mid-2016, the BIR filed at least 800 cases against alleged tax evaders to date.
During Wednesday’s tax launch, tycoons like Ayala Corp.’s Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, San Miguel Corp.’s Ramon Ang, PLDT’s Manuel Pangilinan and ICTSI’s Enrique Razon, as well as UnionBank chair Justo Ortiz, expressed support to the BIR, which they also lauded for streamlining tax payment procedures amid its ongoing digital transformation program.
The BIR’s large taxpayers service, which covered corporations, was expected to contribute P1.36 trillion or about two-thirds of the 2021 collection goal.
The BIR wanted to shift from “tedious” manual processes into fully digitized and digitalized services by 2030.
By 2022, the BIR plans to provide taxpayers 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week access to its services via online systems and mobile applications.
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