Friday, 5 October 2012

New processes to take effect next year at BIR

Diane Claire J. Jiao BusinessWorld THE FIRST STAGE of a planned modernization of key tax processes will be implemented by mid-2013, the chief of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) said, with a full rollout scheduled for the following year. “Phase 1 of the process reengineering is slated for July 2013, while Phase 2 is in 2014. This will simplify and computerize the main transactions with the bureau,” BIR Commissioner Kim S. Jacinto-Henares yesterday said at a forum organized by the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines. “Once the processes are electronic, they will be standardized across the country. Taxpayers will have to follow the same requirements and procedures whether they apply in Metro Manila or in the provinces,” she added. All businesses will be able to apply for their certificates of registration electronically by next year. Data will be encoded by taxpayers online and the document will be delivered to them once the BIR gives its approval. The courier will take pictures of the firm’s office to ensure that it is a real entity. Coordinates will also be plotted for future tax-mapping operations. “This will target the modus operandi of creating dummy companies,” Ms. Henares said. Another reform involves accrediting printers of invoices -- which will have an expiration date tentatively pegged at five years. Also, the BIR will computerize the issuance of documents such as the Certificate Authorizing Registration, a prerequisite to the transfer or sale of land, buildings or shares of stock. It indicates that a taxpayer has paid the necessary donor’s or capital gains tax. The Authority to Release Imported Goods will likewise be processed electronically, with the BIR transmitting the document directly to the Bureau of Customs to prevent falsification. These reforms add to plans earlier detailed by Ms. Henares to move tax identification number applications online. The end-goal, she said, is for every taxpayer to have an electronic tax folder containing all relevant documents such as certificates, returns, payments and communications with the bureau.

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