The proposed Ease of Paying Taxes (EOPT) Act which aims to improve taxpayer experience was swiftly approved by the House of Representatives on second reading on Monday (Sept. 6).
The proposed EOPT Act, House Bill No. 8942, seeks to improve tax compliance by simplifying tax payment procedures, enhancing portability of tax transactions; and legislating the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.
Under the bill, offsite filing of Tax Identification Number (TIN) will be allowed, required annual BIR registration will be removed, and venue rules will be harmonized to allow fully online filings with the BIR.
The bill also establishes a Taxpayer's Advocate office in the BIR which will help in resolving taxpayers’ issues with the bureau.
Albay Second District Representative Joey Salceda, the bill’s principal author, thanked the Department of Finance (DOF) for its support on the measure.
"The DOF and the BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue) gave significant and favorable inputs to this measure. The JFC (Joint Foreign Chambers) and other business groups strongly support this measure as well," Salceda said.
The JFC has earlier called for the EOPT bill’s passage, saying it “harmonizes Value-Added Tax (VAT) recognition for goods and services, which in turn removes the official receipt (OR) requirement for payment of services that is unique to the Philippines.”
“Allowing a single document to support proof of payment of goods or services will make the future e-invoicing process more efficient. Also, it conforms to the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018 (RA 11032) that seeks to increase efficiency by reducing processing time, eliminating red tape, and curbing corrupt bureaucratic practices,” the chambers added.
In response to JFC, Salceda said the bill will also help the government consolidate the country’s fiscal situation and improve its recovery trajectory after the pandemic.
“When you are paying down COVID-19 debts, you want your taxpayers to be as compliant as possible. If you make it easier for them to do that, then they will probably be more willing to pay the right taxes. Tax complexity creates tax arbitrage and even administrative corruption. If you make it easier to pay taxes, you make life harder for tax cheats and fixers,” Salceda said.