Tax e-filers steadily increasing—DOF

Published July 1, 2020, 10:00 PM

by Chino S. Leyco

The number of taxpayers who filed their taxes online have more than doubled over the four-year period, reflecting a “major breakthrough” for the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), the Department of Finance (DOF) said.

In a report to Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III, the BIR said the number of taxpayers who filed their taxes electronically or online steadily increased from 25 percent of all filers in 2015 to 58 percent last year.

“This marks a major breakthrough for the BIR as the tracking data show that more taxpayers filed electronically or online as compared to those who did so by manual filing in 2019,” Dominguez said.

Even before COVID-19 struck this year, Dominguez said there are more people who filed their taxes electronically than those who filed their tax returns manually.

“The government has started to reap the fruits of the BIR’s nonstop efforts under the Duterte watch to make tax compliance more convenient and accessible for our taxpayers,” the finance chief added.

According to BIR data, only 25 percent filed their taxes electronically in 2015, or the year before President Duterte took over.

The number of taxpayers who filed electronically rose steadily to 35 percent of the total tax filers in 2016, and to 46 percent in 2017.

By 2018, there were already more e-filers at 55 percent of all taxpayers and an even higher 58 percent e-filers in 2019.

The BIR reported to Dominguez that the amount of revenues collected from taxes paid online   reached P1.83 trillion last year, or up 59 percent from the P1.15 trillion collected by the bureau through

electronic channels in 2015.

BIR data showed that the share of e-payment collections to total BIR collections similarly increased from 80 percent in 2015 to 84 percent in 2019.

Preliminary data in January to June bared that the share of e-payment collections to total BIR collections was at 77 percent this season of the pandemic.

Under the Duterte administration, the BIR has introduced additional electronic payment channels in which taxpayers can pay their tax returns online, on top of the electronic Filing and Payment System (eFPS) and GCash digital platform.  These include the PesoNet thru LandBank Portal and Development Bank of the Philippines PayTax Online System, which both began in October 2017; the UnionBank Online in May 2019; PesoNet in August 2019; and PayMaya in February 2020.