THE Department of Finance (DoF) is set to launch various electronic channels this year that will digitize tax-related processes, including an online platform for tax exemption applications, as well as an online business registration system and the electronic-invoicing system of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

The DoF said in a statement Wednesday that the electronic Tax Exemption System of its Revenue Operations Group (ROG) will be launched this quarter, in which importers can request duty and tax exemptions and track the status of their applications.

Last year, the government approved 16,650 tax exemption applications which resulted in P12.5 billion in foregone revenue according to Finance Undersecretary and Head of ROG Antonette C. Tionko.

Meanwhile, the BIR’s Online Registration and Update System (ORUS) is set to be operational by August, according to Ms. Tionko, while the rollout of an e-invoicing system will proceed as scheduled this year.

ORUS will serve as a platform for business and individual taxpayers to register and update their details with the bureau.

For the e-invoicing system, she said business process reengineering and information strategy planning for the project has been completed. The bureau is also currently working on the “development of the value-added tax (VAT) system, installation of the ICT infrastructure and the capacity building aspect of the project.” The project tapped the Korea International Cooperation Agency for a $7.3-million grant to aid in its rollout.

“The e-invoicing system we are developing is capable of processing and storing electronic invoices issued by taxpayers in near real time. This will make it easy to issue digital receipts and capture and upload the data in the receipt to a centralized database,” Ms. Tionko said.

The system also has an e-Sales reporting system that summarizes the data on digital invoices and receipts.

Tax returns filed with the BIR online totaled 21.48 million last year, accounting for 94% of all returns. Taxes paid through e-channels amounted to P1.665 trillion, equivalent to 86% of the bureau’s revenue in 2020.

This year, BIR Commissioner Caesar R. Dulay said the bureau is targeting a level of 100% electronic tax returns.

Ms. Tionko added that the ROG is due for partial completion of its One-Stop Shop Inter-Agency Tax Credit and Duty Drawback Center (OSS) this quarter, while the Transfer Tax Credit Certificates and Tax Debit Memos of the OSS will be launched by year’s end.

The BIR collected P1.94 trillion last year, down 11% year on year but 15% higher than the P1.69-trillion downward-revised target. — Beatrice M. Laforga