The Department of Finance (DOF) aims to complete the full shift to an electronic invoicing system by December 2022 as part of the digital transformation in tax administration that the Duterte administration wants to embark on so the government could provide better and faster services to taxpayers.
Finance Assistant Secretary Antonio Lambino II told a recent economic forum in Washington D.C. that this digital transformation initiative will address the tendency of the current tax system to “overemphasize controls and monitoring over the welfare of taxpayers and the overall ease and efficiency of compliance.”
He noted, for instance, that redundant data fields are currently required in tax returns that already form part of other mandatory attachments in paying taxes.
The Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act (TRAIN), Lambino said, provides the government the corrective measure to do away with some of the redundancies and inefficiencies in the tax system by mandating the establishment of an e-invoicing system.
“Progress has been made in modernizing information technology services for taxpayers. However, further reforms are needed,” said Lambino. “The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), in partnership with the government of Korea, is set to complete the development of the e-invoicing system by end of 2022.”
Lambino said this digital transformation will not only improve services to taxpayers but would also “result in administrative savings, and make the tax bureau more resilient and easily adaptable to changes in policy and technology.”
The BIR’s digital transformation agenda, he said, includes optimizing business processes, implementing an enabling infrastructure, maximizing the use of information for effective business operations, and improving the digital literacy of the bureau’s workforce.
“This agenda requires a high level of commitment, and the tax bureau has initiated foundational activities, such as business process mapping, starting this year,” he said.