Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III has instructed the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to pursue discussions with Russian tax officials on further improving the Philippines’ tax administration system through digitalization.
The BIR is set to hold a second round of talks with top officials of the Federal Tax Service (FTS) of Russia, who, according to Internal Revenue Deputy Commissioner Arnel Guballa, “will gladly support us and help us on our automation or digitalization programs.”
Following Guballa’s report during a recent Department of Finance (DOF) Executive Committee (Execom) meeting, Undersecretary Antonette Tionko suggested that this possible support for the BIR’s digitalization program be included in the list of topics to be discussed during an upcoming bilateral meeting between the Philippines and Russia this month.
Officials of the BIR and the FTS met last Jan. 13 via Zoom to discuss the latter’s best practices that could be applied in the Philippines to further improve its tax administration and compliance.
BIR officials also raised with FTS Deputy Commissioner Dmitry Volvach the possibility of a bilateral cooperation agreement between the revenue agencies of the two countries.
Dominguez requested then-outgoing Russian Ambassador Igor Khovaev in February last year for assistance in helping the BIR set up a tax data capture program for its value-added tax (VAT) collection effort that is similar to Russia’s highly efficient system.
At that time, Ambassador Khovaev said that Russia has shared its VAT collection technology with other countries and would assist the BIR in its effort to improve its system.