PHILIPPINE STAR/ EDD GUMBAN

HOUSE LEGISLATORS approved a measure on second reading Monday that would ease the process of filing taxes in order to encourage taxpayers to pay their dues.

House Bill 8942 or the Ease of Paying Taxes Act seeks to simplify rules and processes in filing and paying taxes, such as removing venue restrictions and introducing a medium taxpayer classification.

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

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.

PBA Party-list Rep. Jericho Jonas B. Nograles introduced amendments to the bill that would include the creation of the Taxpayer’s Advocate Office in the Bill of Rights.

The Taxpayer’s Advocate Office will be under the supervision of the Department of Finance and is independent from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

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

The measure was among the priority measures listed by House Speaker Lord Allan Jay Q. Velasco when plenary deliberations resumed for the third and final session of the 18th Congress on July 26. — Russell Louis C. Ku