HOUSE LEGISLATORS approved a measure on third reading Wednesday that would ease the process of tax filing to encourage payment.

House Bill 8942 or the proposed Ease of Paying Taxes Act seeks to remove venue restrictions for filers and introduce a medium taxpayer category.

The measure also seeks to remove the P500 annual taxpayer registration fee, create registration facilities for non-resident taxpayers, and establish a “Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.”  

The bill will also create a Taxpayer’s Advocate Office under the supervision of the Department of Finance. It will be independent of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

The office is tasked with ensuring the protection of the rights of taxpayers and finding solutions to solve problems in the BIR that hinder efficient tax administration.

The measure seeks to amend sections of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997. It was approved by the House Ways and Means Committee on Jan. 25 and was passed on second reading on Sept. 6.

The bill was among the priority measures listed by Speaker Lord Allan Jay Q. Velasco when plenary deliberations resumed for the third and final session of the 18th Congress on July 26.

Albay Rep. Jose Ma. Clemente S. Salceda, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said that the bill, if signed, has the potential to generate an additional P73.1 billion in government revenue in the first five years of implementation. — Russell Louis C. Ku