THE BUREAU of Internal Revenue (BIR) plans to prioritize its campaign against tax evasion and improve voluntary compliance as it seeks to boost revenue collections this year.

The BIR on Thursday said its enforcement and advocacy office plans to “emphasize the criminal nature of tax evasion, in order to have a maximum deterrent effect on taxpayers, thereby enhancing voluntary compliance and promoting public confidence in the tax system.”

The BIR targets to collect P2.435 trillion in revenues, 17% higher than last year’s P2.081 trillion goal.

Total BIR revenue collection in the 11 months to November stood at P1.9 trillion, up 7.17% from last year’s figure.

BIR said that it plans to simplify taxpayer compliance by identifying unregistered businesses through the use of third-party information. The bureau will also intensify its audit and investigation program.

Through this, it aims to collect at least 3% of its total revenue goal from withholding tax on compensation income, tax remittance advice, withholding tax of local governments, special allotment release orders, and one-time transactions.

On the tax compliance monitoring front, BIR plans to give taxpayers additional venues to conduct one-time transactions, as well as use a taxpayer registration database to improve service delivery.

The BIR said it aims to speed up handling complaints and develop a platform for digital tax-filing that would provide a single source of taxpayer information.

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

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

Meanwhile, the BIR wants to improve its own budget management and make its workplace more digital by using collaborative tools.

The bureau also plans to improve its integrity management program.

“Promote integrity, honesty and transparency throughout the revenue service by expediting preliminary investigations on complains/reports against bureau personnel,” it said. “Act on administrative cases filed against erring revenue officials and employees.” — J.P.Ibañez