As tax season begins, Finance Secretary Ralph G. Recto has assured the taxpaying public of the judicious and efficient use of their hard-earned money, vowing to eradicate inefficiency or corruption within the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
“To our taxpayers: Ako po mismo ang maniniguro na bawat sentimo mula sa inyo ay mapupunta sa pagpapaunlad ng ating bayan,” the Finance Chief said during the BIR’s National Tax Campaign Kick-off on February 8, 2024.
This year, the government targets to collect PHP 4.3 trillion in revenues. The bulk of the tax revenues amounting to PHP 3.05 trillion will be generated by the BIR, while the Bureau of Customs (BOC) is expected to collect close to PHP 1 trillion.
“These revenues will fuel our economic engine towards Bagong Pilipinas—a more inclusive and sustainable Philippine economy marked by lower poverty rates; increased infrastructure and human capital investments; more quality jobs for our people; and improved public services,” Secretary Recto said.
The Secretary underscored both the patriotic roles of the BIR and taxpayers in the nation’s progress through prompt, correct, and efficient tax payment and collection.
“Diligent taxpayers make the great task of collecting revenues much easier,” he said.
On the part of the BIR, he emphasized the need for revenuers to accurately assess and collect the right taxes, continue improving on digitalization, and expedite the implementation of the Ease of Paying Taxes Act to ensure excellent taxpayer service.
“When both sides effectively play their roles, we pave the way to progress with certainty,” Secretary Recto said.
On behalf of the Department of Finance (DOF), Secretary Recto vowed to support the BIR in its modernization programs to make general tax compliance easier and taxation equitable.
This entails faster processing of the Bureau’s project proposals for modernization and strengthening enforcement efforts to combat tax evasion and ensure fairness in the tax system to build taxpayer trust.
Additionally, he said the DOF will prioritize curbing the rise of inflation, which will keep the prices of goods and services stable, thus ensuring economic growth and boosting revenue collection.
The DOF is also pushing for the passage of its refined priority tax measures to fund development and reduce the deficit.
To broaden the tax base, the Finance Chief said the DOF is working on amendments to the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act to address investor concerns and tailor-fit incentives to attract more strategic investments into the country.
“This will prepare the red carpet for an influx of new investments that will provide high-quality jobs for Filipinos and broaden the tax base,” he said.
Moreover, Secretary Recto assured the public of the efficient execution of the 2024 national budget to ensure the timely implementation of projects and prevent government underspending.
In closing, Secretary Recto expressed confidence in the ability of the BIR to not only meet but surpass this year’s revenue collection target through the leadership of Commissioner Romeo Lumagui, Jr.
Meanwhile, he called on each revenuer to uphold with utmost dedication, the standards of responsiveness, integrity, and accountability in fulfilling their duties to the nation.