Keeping up with the most recent tax regulations is crucial when filing taxes, especially for individual taxpayers. It is essential to know information that can help ease the burden of tax filing, minimize the risk of a Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) audit or investigation, and avoid penalties and fines.
This tax filing season, the BIR put in place processes that made tax filing and payment simpler and more convenient for taxpayers. One of them is the improved "Revie", BIR’s digital assistant, which allows taxpayers to ask general questions such as the location of district offices worldwide or verification and validation of Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TIN). By doing this, taxpayers no longer needed to phone or visit Revenue District Offices (RDOs) in person to verify their TIN. The improvement is a component of the BIR's digital transformation effort to increase client accessibility.
The BIR also released Revenue Memorandum Circular (RMC) No. 32-2023, which provides guidelines for the filing of the Annual Income Tax Returns (AITRs) for calendar year 2022 and the payment of corresponding taxes due thereon. Taxpayers are allowed to pay their taxes due to any Authorized Agent Bank (AAB) and Revenue Collections Officer (RCO) notwithstanding the RDO jurisdiction and without penalties imposed for wrong venue filing. Taxpayers who will manually submit their AITRs and pay taxes owed thereon through RCOs of the RDO may pay in cash up to Twenty Thousand Pesos (PHP 20,000.00) or in check regardless of the amount.
Same as the previous tax season, the BIR allows taxpayers to file their AITRs and pay their taxes at any AAB. Manual tax filers have the luxury of making tax payments at the nearest AAB rather than traveling to an AAB within their RDO.
The BIR also made tax payments through the BIR's ePayment Channels available. Tax payment can be made through the following Electronic Payment (ePayment) gateways:
- Development Bank of the Philippines' (DBP) Pay Tax Online
- Land Bank of the Philippines' (LBP) Link.Biz Portal
- Union Bank's Online/The Portal Payment Facility
- Tax Software Provider/Taxpayer Agent - GCash/Maya/MyEG
The same RMC provides that “No Payment AITRs” can be filed electronically but allowed the following to manually file "No Payment AITRs" with the RDO:
- Senior Citizen (SC) or Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) filing for their own AITR;
- Employees deriving purely compensation income from two or more employers, concurrently or successively at any time during the taxable year, or from a single employer, although the income of which has been correctly subjected to withholding tax, but whose spouse is not entitled to substituted filing; and
- Employees qualified for substituted filing under Sec. 2.83.4 of Revenue Regulations No. 2-98, as amended, but opted to file for an ITR and are filing for purposes of promotion, loans, scholarships, foreign travel requirements, etc.
From a global mobility standpoint, if a foreign national needs a stamped tax return for tax, immigration, or other transactions in their home country, their No Payment AITRs can be presented to the BIR for manual stamping as well.
Another circular issued by the BIR was RMC No. 44-2023 which provides supplemental guidelines in the filing of AITRs and payment of taxes due thereon for Taxable Year 2022 using eBIRForms Package/Electronic Filing and Payment System (eFPS) and the submission of its attachments.
The salient points of the supplemental guidelines as outlined in Annex “A” of the RMC are as follows:
- Reiteration that filing and payment of AITRs anywhere is until 17 April 2023 only and covers Calendar Year 2022.
- Provides for the summary of the filing and payment instruction for AITRs.
- Provides for the summary of instruction on when to submit, mode of submission, and list of documents considered as attachments to the AITRs.
As part of the BIR's digitalization initiatives, more ePayment Channels through BIR E-Payment Service of MyEG Philippines were introduced. Taxpayers can make electronic payments through credit, debit, prepaid cards and other e-wallet options. Using the same platform, taxpayers can also pay other taxes such as withholding tax, fringe benefit tax, annual business registration fee and document stamp tax.
The BIR recognizes the significance of digital transactions in our everyday lives and provides taxpayers with options for the safest and most practical channels accessible to them. With the electronic filing of “No Payment AITRs” and various online payment channels, individual taxpayers can easily take care of their tax responsibilities and meet the tax filing and payment deadlines without leaving the security and convenience of their homes. While there is still a long way to go, during the recently concluded tax filing season, taxpayers and tax practitioners alike have felt the developments in modernizing the tax filing process. Let’s hope that a more efficient, accurate and simple tax filing system is created that improves compliance and reduces administrative burden.
Nicole U. Capinpuyan
KPMG in the Philippines