The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) held its National Tax Campaign kick-off event in Pasay City, Feb. 7. — PHILIPPINE STAR/KRIZ JOHN ROSALES

THE BUREAU of Internal Revenue (BIR) is confident it will not just meet its revenue collection target, but exceed it this year.

“With all our efforts and support we are getting, definitely we’re here to work doubly hard to attain the target,” BIR Commissioner Romeo D. Lumagui, Jr. said at the “BIR National Tax Campaign Kick-off” in Pasay City on Tuesday.

Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said the agency will “definitely” meet its P2.6-trillion collection target for this year.

The BIR collects about 70% of government revenues.

According to Mr. Lumagui, the agency collected a total of P2.34 trillion in 2022.

“We exceeded our revenue targets for 2022. Meanwhile, the emerging tax effort or the taxes as a percentage of GDP for full-year 2022 now stands at 14.6% and we are on track to achieving our goal of raising it to 17.1% by 2028,” Mr. Diokno added.

He said revenue collections this year will be driven by economic growth. “The stronger the economy, the higher the revenues.”

Mr. Lumagui said the BIR will focus on making tax payments more convenient as it accelerates its digital transformation programs.

“We are all focusing on providing good taxpayer service so the processes won’t be too difficult. Our expectation is once we are able to provide convenience, then taxpayers will voluntarily comply,” he said.

Mr. Lumagui said the BIR also has initiatives in place to mitigate the impact of a widely anticipated global recession.

“Definitely it has an effect, but we are addressing it. We have a lot of plans and programs to address those situations. We are confident we will be able to do what is necessary to attain our collection target,” he added.

The BIR chief said the government needs to ramp up spending on infrastructure development, as the economy recovers from the pandemic.

“The modernization and expansion of infrastructure will create high quality jobs, improve overall productivity and encourage businesses and improve taxes for all communities,” he added.

The government plans to spend 5-6% of gross domestic product (GDP) on infrastructure.

Mr. Diokno also said the government is pushing for priority legislative measures such as the imposition of value-added tax (VAT) on digital transactions and the excise tax on single-use plastic.

“In the long term, this will enable more revenues to fund priority programs and boost inclusive sustainable growth of the economy. On top of policy reforms, digital transformation programs and other reforms have widened the tax base and simplified the process of tax collections,” he added. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson