BIR eyes measures to offset losses from tourist VAT refunds

Warren De Guzman, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 31 2023 04:45 PM

MANILA - The Bureau of Internal Revenue is studying ways to properly implement and offset potential losses from the tax refund for tourists which was recently approved by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr, an official said on Tuesday.

The Philippines collects a 12 percent Value Added Tax (VAT) on goods. Marcos' newly approved measure would allow foreigners to get a VAT refund for the goods their bought here. This is similar to what other countries offer, such as Japan and Singapore. 

"Pinag aaralan pa how we will really implement it. But we will do that, pinagaaralan ngayon yan. Hopefully in the coming days magawan natin ng detalyadong policies and regulations tungkol diyan," BIR Commissioner Jun Lumagui said.

Improving services can help raise more revenues to offset possible losses, he said when asked about the matter.

"We believe, or I believe na pag napagaan natin ang transaction diyan sa BIR, definitely people will comply. So the tax compliance of our taxpayers will increase and will also, the corresponding increase in our tax collections will be there," Lumagui said.

Aside from enforcement to close tax leaks and measures to increase the BIR’s efficiency, Lumagui said they would also follow the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028’s recommendation to utilize digital technology to improve processes. 

"We will try to improve on all of our digital services so that because itong digital services na ito mapapagaan ang pag serbisyo namin sa tax payers. Malaking tulong ito sa mga mamamayan para mapadali ang pagbayad ng buwis," he said.

Marcos said he approved the tax refund to boost tourism in the country. 


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