ALMOST all or 99.5% of 1,437,609 Annual Income Tax Returns (AITRs) received by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) this year were filed electronically.
Said percentage, which is equivalent to a total of 1,430,470 electronically filed AITRs in 2021, is the highest ever recorded in the Bureau’s history. Only 7,139 AITRs were filed manually in the said year.
It is noteworthy, however, that the numbers of electronically filed returns have been on an uptrend since 2015, and that the biggest leaps in terms of percentage of electronically filed AITRs to total returns filed were from 10.04% in 2015 to 50.90% in 2016; and from 58.25% in 2018 to 80.38% in 2019, a year before the pandemic began.
“This shows that even before the outbreak of COVID-19, more and more taxpayers have already shifted from manual to online filing, and this can be attributed to the Bureau’s continuous improvement and expansion of its electronic filing and payment facilities, as well as vigorous campaign for taxpayers to utilize the same,” Commissioner Caesar R. Dulay said.
Under the Bureau’s existing regulations, the electronic mode of filing of tax returns (not only AITRs but all other returns of major tax types – VAT, Percentage Tax, etc.) can either be through the eBIRForms or the Electronic Filing and Payment System (eFPS). The Bureau has identified several taxpayers who are mandatorily required to use these electronic platforms. Other taxpayers, however, may also opt to voluntarily file their tax returns electronically. Moreover, the submission of attachments to the returns is made easy with the Bureau’s eSubmission and Electronic Audited Financial Statement (eAFS) System.
Several electronic payment channels are also made available for taxpayers. These are the Development Bank of the Philippines’ (DBP) pay Tax online, Land Bank of the Philippines’ (LBP) Link.Biz Portal, Union Bank online web and Mobile Payment Facility, GCash and PayMaya.
“During this pandemic, there has been an unprecedented demand for contactless transactions. More taxpayers started paying attention to how they can comply with their tax obligations online. With the convenience they are experiencing with our eServices, along with our ongoing enhancement under digital transformation program, we are optimistic that more taxpayers if not 100% of them will make use of our electronic channels even after the pandemic,” Commissioner Dulay said.