THE Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is carrying out nearly 50 digitalization projects, most of them involving making tax payment easier, the Department of Finance (DoF) said.

In a report to the Finance department, the BIR said 26 of 49 projects involve improving tax payments and related services.

Other digitalization projects include improving administrative processes and aligning internal policies with the requirements of the BIR digital workplace, the DoF said in a statement on Tuesday.

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III has ordered all agencies attached to the DoF to implement digital transformation programs.

About 94% of tax returns were filed electronically in 2020, from 43% in 2015.

Electronic payments made to the bureau exceeded 4 million transactions in 2020, more than doubling the 1.91 million in 2015.

The Asian Development Bank has said that the government must move its tax collection processes online to cut costs and improve compliance among individuals and businesses.

The high costs of tax compliance discourages small- and medium-sized businesses from complying with the rules, the bank said, noting that digital taxation can help governments quickly improve revenue without changing the prevailing rules.

Mr. Dominguez has said that local government units should digitalize their tax processes, after a Supreme Court ruling expanded their share of National Government revenues starting this year. — Jenina P. Ibañez