MANILA — Empty chairs greeted Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner Romeo Lumagui Jr on Monday as he inspected some BIR offices on the last day of filing of Annual Income Tax Returns as taxpayers shift to online payment.
This was a clear contrast to the usual scenes before the pandemic when taxpayers crowded BIR offices at the last minute. That is not the case this year.
Lumagui attributed this to the agency's campaign for people to file early, and the availability of improved online services. The filing of ITRs can be done via the website of BIR, while taxes can be paid online.
"Magandang senyales ito dahil ibig sabihin niyan ay probably nandiyan sila sa online at talagang may binabayarang buwis sa mga bangko," said Lumagui.
(This is a good sign since probably they're online)
Another reason is the new "pay anywhere and file anywhere" policy. Under this Filipinos can file their ITRs even in BIR offices outside of where their business was registered.
The BIR aims to collect P1.1 trillion for the first few months of the year until the last day of ITR filing. For the entire year, the target is P2.6 trillion.
Lumagui said he is confident the target can be met even with an expected slowdown in economic activity this 2023.
He is also optimistic all taxpayers will be able to file ITR before the 5 p.m. deadline. As of Monday morning, about 96 percent of taxpayers have already filed their ITR.