Business taxpayers will no longer have to pay the annual registration fee with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) starting this year.
In an advisory, the BIR said it will stop collecting the annual registration fee from business taxpayers effective Jan. 22 in compliance with the Republic Act No. 11976 or the Ease of Paying Taxes Act.
President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. signed the Ease of Paying Taxes Act into law on Jan. 5.
“As a result, business taxpayers are exempt from filing BIR Form No. 0605 and paying the PHP 500 annual registration fee on or before Jan. 31 every year,” it said.
The BIR said that business taxpayers with existing certificate of registration, which includes the registration fee, will remain valid. They can have the certificate of registration updated or replaced at the Revenue District Office where they are registered on or before Dec. 31, 2024.
The Ease of Paying Taxes Act aims to modernize tax administration, update the taxation system, and protect taxpayer rights and welfare.
The law amends several sections of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, such as the introduction of a taxpayer classification system and a risk-based classification for VAT refund claims.
Taxpayers may also now file returns electronically or manually to any authorized agent bank, Revenue District Office, or authorized tax software provider.
The law also mandates the BIR to adopt an “integrated digitalization strategy by providing automated end-to-end solutions for the benefit of taxpayers.”
The agency is also ordered to develop an Ease of Paying Taxes and digitalization roadmap to ensure ease of tax compliance and streamlining of tax processes.
Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said that the amendments under the Ease of Paying Taxes Act will improve the ease of doing business in the country.
“This is consistent with the overall efforts to reduce business costs, make it more convenient, and encourage more people to do business and also pay taxes for their fair share of nation-building,” he said in a Viber message.
Mr. Ricafort said that simplifying tax processes for businesses will help boost revenues and promote better transparency.
Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Eunina V. Mangio said in a statement that the passage of the law is a welcome development for the business community.
“I hope this law, coupled with proper implementation and monitoring, will significantly ease the paying of taxes in the country,” she said.
Ms. Mangio also said that the law could help attract more foreign investors.
“We need to harmonize and streamline our processes for us to attract investors into the country. Otherwise, we will remain low in the ease of doing business,” she added.
Meanwhile, Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said the BIR should surpass its collection target for this year.
“We have much to accomplish in 2024. Thus, I urge the agency to not just meet, but exceed its collection targets this year and beyond,” Mr. Diokno said in a press release on Monday.
The BIR is expected to collect PHP 3.05 trillion this year, based on the latest Budget of Expenditures and Sources of Financing.
Data from the Treasury showed that BIR revenues stood at PHP 2.34 trillion in the January-to-November period, accounting for 88.77% of its PHP 2.64-trillion full-year target.
The agency collects about 70% of government revenue.
DoF data also showed that the BIR filed a total of 221 cases against tax evaders before the Department of Justice in the 11-month period. These cases had estimated liabilities worth PHP 13.24 billion.
“Meanwhile, 38 cases with an estimated tax liability of PHP 5.06 billion were filed with the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) during the said period,” the department added.
In the first 11 months, the BIR also collected PHP 410.94 million and issued 186 closure orders against businesses in violation of value-added tax (VAT) requirements. — By Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson, Reporter