MANILA - The Bureau of Internal Revenue on Tuesday unveiled a new mascot as it aims to improve revenue collections and offset any possible losses from tax reforms.
Revie, whose name is play on 'revenue,' is the mascot version of the recently revamped BIR chatbot that answers frequently asked questions on taxes.
BIR Commissioner Romeo Lumagui Jr said the bureau targets to collect P2.599 trillion this year. Based on the BIR’s performance in January, he said the agency is on track to hit this target. The bureau collected P2.335 trillion in 2022.
"Now with REVIE, it may not have a direct relation with our collection, but indirectly, si REVIE kasi will be of assistance to the taxpayers. We know if we improve, as I’ve been saying, more and more people will comply. That is our theme,” Lumagui said.
He added that the agency’s digitalization also aims to raise compliance.
“When we provide excellent taxpayer service, people will find it very convenient to transact with us and they will voluntarily comply with their tax obligations. That is our main purpose and objective of launching all digital services that aim to improve the processes for the convenience of the taxpayers," Lumagui said.
Lumagui said they have three strategies to help them improve revenue collections: taxpayer service excellence including digitalization and the Revie initiative; professionalism and integrity including a crackdown on erring BIR employees; and enforcement, which involves running after tax evaders.
Lumagui said they hope to use Revie to collect more complaints and data which can help in their crackdown on BIR employees behaving badly and on erring taxpayers.
He highlighted instances of taxpayers using receipts for fake transactions to manipulate their tax returns and payments.
Aside from these, the BIR is also dealing with pending changes to the tax regime. Earlier, Lumagui shared that they are studying the operationalization of the tax refund for tourists, which was announced by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to take effect in 2024.
The tax chief said they are also discussing pending proposals in Congress, such as the so-called wealth tax.
“Of course, if sabihin sa atin we will impose wealth tax then we will implement it. But again that is a policy issue.”
He said the BIR will weigh the pros and cons of a wealth tax before making any recommendation to policymakers.