The Bureau of Internal Revenue’s (BIR) national tax campaign kicked off on Wednesday in preparation for the collection of 2020 income tax return (ITR) which is due on April 15.

Assistant revenue district officer John Rainier Camba said the tax campaign will help raise the awareness of taxpayers on the benefits of being registered with BIR.

One of its benefits was observed during the pandemic where the government was able to extend assistance to registered establishments which were provided by the bureau to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Social Security System (SSS) as beneficiaries.

“Unang-una kung naalala niyo ‘yong nangyari last year ‘yong binibigay sa businesses na ayuda, maraming nagrireklamong tao roon dahil bakit wala sila sa listahan ng DSWD. Ang binigay na listahan ng BIR sa DSWD at SSS ay kung sino ang mga nakarehistro. Ang mga establishment na hindi nakarehistro ay hindi talaga sila mabibigyan kasi wala sila sa database ng BIR,” Camba said.

“Maging aware (sana) ang isang tax payer sa benefit ng registration kasi ang dilemma din nila, kapag nakarehistro ka, kailangan ka na magbayad. Iba kasi ‘yong registration with the filing and payment. Sa registration, magbabayad ka lang ng 500 yearly, sa filing and payment, magfa-file ka lang. Kung hindi ka lumagpas sa P250,000 [ay] exempt ka,” he added.

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During the kick-off through Facebook live,  BIR stated that it achieved an all time high of 15.14 percent over its tax collection target in 2020. BIR has collected P1.95 trillion for the fiscal year 2020 nationwide.

For the year 2021, BIR set its nationwide collection target to P2.081 trillion

Commissioner Caesar Dulay stated that one of the challenges they encountered in 2020 was that movements of tax payers were also restricted although they wanted to pay their tax obligations and the closure of some banks during the lockdown.

“Overtime [ay] natugunan natin ‘yong problema, ‘yong challenges na ‘yon and it can be shown doon sa performance natin,” Dulay explained.

“Iyong mga programa namin ay hindi namin babaguhin. They are proven to be effective—pero ang magandang nangyayari sa amin ngayon is improved ang digitalization program namin,” he added.

He said the improved digitalization mainly helps the collection to be convenient for tax payers.

“Nakita naman sa report na ang ganda ng collection namin dahil sa digitalization. Nagbukas kami ng maraming payment channels, hindi na nahihirapan ang tax payer, text-text mol ang, nafa-file mo ‘yong return mo, naifa-file mo ang bayad mo. Tuloy-tuloy namin na gagawin ‘yan for 2021 at ang plano namin ay i-improve pa ‘yan with the cooperation and help of our partners,” he said.

He also appealed to tax payers to take advantage of the tax amnesty and the program of compromise agreement.  

Dulay said that he is talking to the regional directors and revenue district officers to look into the concerns of establishments who have closed and now are inquiring if there are penalties with their tax obligations.

“If that’s a policy matter, pwede namin pag-usapan ni secretary Dominguez kasi policy, pero kahit wala pa yan ay marami na rin pumunta sa amin kung may mga penalties lang dahil sa pandemic, maganda naman ang rason, we consider it. Tinitingnan namin, kinakausap ko ‘yong mga regional director, RDOs, sabi ko pakitingnan nga ‘yong problema and be open because of the situation,” he said.

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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.