THE Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) said Friday it expects to grow the volume of taxes paid online after launching a seventh electronic channel through e-wallet service PayMaya.

BIR Deputy Commissioner for Information Sysyems Group Lanee C. David said electronic filers (e-filers) have increased over the years after the opening of various digital platforms.

Last year, Ms. David said the number of e-filers nearly tripled from 2015 levels to 1.796 million, including 60% of the bureau’s business taxpayers.

“Now with the addition of PayMaya, we are expecting a significant shift in favor of electronic payments and of course, a significant increase in our e-filers,” she said.

She said PayMaya could expand the taxpaying demographic particularly for its client base of individuals and the unbanked, since the platform does not require users to have bank account.

The other six electronic payment systems in use for tax payments are electronic filing and payment system (eFPS), Globe GCash, Development Bank of the Philippines’ PayTax Online, the e-Tax Payment System (eTPS) of the Land Bank of the Philippines and Union Bank’s Online Tax Payment facility.

“We are happy to offer PayMaya as a new payment channel where individual Filipino taxpayers can easily remit their taxes no matter where they are in the country,” BIR Commissioner Caesar R. Dulay said.

On the sidelines of the launch yesterday, Ms. David said around 84% of all taxes collected by the bureau in 2019 were received through online portals, most of which were from large taxpayers such as businesses, with the remaining 16% collections were received over the counter.

The Finance department reported Thursday that tax payments done online nearly doubled last year, with the total amount of tax payments processed online surging 92% to P1.2 billion in 2019.

The number of electronic tax payments also increased to 446,753 total transactions, up 60%, it said.

DoF Undersecretary and Head of the Revenue Operations Group (ROG) Antonette C. Tionko said the department aims to convert over 15 million transactions currently paying over the counter to digital payment services, equivalent to 80% of the total number of transactions the BIR processes annually.

The PESONet platform could save the bureau as much as P230 million annualy in transaction fees if taxes are paid online, as this will lower fees charged by authorized banks to P25 from P40 for over-the-counter dealings. — Beatrice M. Laforga