House passes the proposed Ease of Paying Taxes Act

Last week’s plenary session saw the passage of a bill on its third reading about modernizing tax administration and improving tax compliance.

Over 193 lawmakers voted in favor of House Bill 8942 — or the proposed Ease of Paying Taxes Act — that introduces administrative tax reforms by amending several sections in the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC) of 1997. No one either opposed or abstained upon reaching this decision.

HB 8942’s objective is to simplify procedures of tax compliance by segmenting taxpayers and an improved tailoring processes. This would enhance the portability of tax transactions and legislate the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.

The proposed Ease of Paying Taxes Act aims for the creation of a Taxpayer’s Advocate Office in the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) which will act as the taxpayer’s recourse for issues with this revenue-collecting agency.

 There are several key benefits included in this proposal such as:

  • Allowing taxpayers to file for a Tax Identification Number (TIN) offsite, 
  • The removal of the required annual BIR registration, 
  • Harmonization of venue rules to allow fully online filings with the Bureau.
  • Introducing a “medium” taxpayer classification and streamlined procedures for the “small” taxpayer; 
  • Cancelation of the BIR registration requirement as well as the BIR audits
  • Removing the need to secure authority to print from the BIR before hard copy invoices can be issued; and 
  • Ensuring taxpayer’s rights as the guiding principle in formulating and implementing tax policies and regulations. 

According to Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, the measure would help consolidate the country’s fiscal situation and improve our recovery trajectory after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Will HB 8942 further help our taxpaying public to be more compliant? By the looks of these measures (and not just the title), it should be. After all, we all want to have a much better yet easier and efficient way of paying our taxes.

And moreover, will the proposed taxation measure be enacted as a law? This remains to be seen; but as a company that has been continuously pushing for tax reforms since 2011, we could only hope for better things to come. But for now, we will be watching.

And while we observe our policymakers create amendments for better taxation in the country, we at ACG could help those erring taxpayers to settle their obligations in the most rightful way possible. We are offering FREE tax assistance and consulting services, plus a 10 percent discount for all of our services during our anniversary month! 

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