Self-employed, small biz owners may pay taxes online
MANILA, Philippines - Self-employed individuals and small business owners may pay their taxes online beginning April next year as the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) moves to reengineer its process of business registration and modernize its information technology, according to the agency’s top official.
Internal Revenue commissioner Kim Henares said ordinary individuals may pay their taxes electronically anytime, anywhere beginning April 15 as long as they are using a computer with Internet connection.
“By April 15, ordinary self-employed individuals now have a choice to pay their taxes online through banks or line up and join the fiesta at the BIR,” Henares said.
Henares said the move is part of the agency’s efforts to get more people in the tax net and shore up tax collections.
“We’re building our IT capability to allow the electronic filing of various returns such as capital gains tax, donors tax, estate tax so they can file online and the BIR will deliver the certificate electronically and submit it directly to the Registry of Deeds so they don’t need to come to our offce,” Henares said.
According to Henares, the BIR is hoping to implement electric notarization since most government documents need to be notarized.
She said the BIR is now in in discussions with the Department of Budget and Management with respect to the use online payment system.
“We recognize that there’s a big amount of tax that needs to be collected. So I think the assumption that we have is that there’s still a lot of people who are not paying the right taxes. First, either they’re not registered, or those registered and filed are still not paying the right amount of taxes,” Henares said.
The BIR has stepped up its watch over self-employed individuals and professionals who are paying ridiculously low taxes as it asserts its authority to collect taxes.
Henares said those who will be found guilty of evading taxes face imprisonment and other criminal sanctions as provided under the Tax Code.
Collections from self-employed individuals and professionals accounted for only 6.8 percent of individual income taxes last year.