BIR eyes P2.6 T tax take in 2023

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), headed by Commissioner Romeo D. Lumagui, Jr., launches the 2023 National Tax Campaign Kickoff held on February 7, 2023 at the Reception Hall of the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).

Gracing the momentous occasion were President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. and Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno who both delivered messages to the participants.

Top government officials from the Senate, House of Representatives and National Government Agencies also graced the event with their presence as well as the heads and representatives of the country’s Top Taxpayers and various BIR Partners (groups/associations).

BIR, being the prime tax collection agency of the government, is tasked to collect P2.599 trillion this 2023. Tax collected by the BIR represents nearly 80% of the national government’s source of funding.

BIR officials and selected personnel nationwide were also present in the PICC to witness this year’s tax campaign kickoff that carried the theme “Tulong-Tulong sa Pagbangon. Kapit Kamay sa Pag-Ahon. Buwis na Wasto, Alay para sa Pilipino.”

There are four major areas of concern that the BIR should focus in attaining and exceeding its tax collection goal for 2023 and these are: Improve Taxpayer Service; Digitalization and Automation of Processes; Transparency and Integrity; and Intensification of Enforcement Activities.

The Kickoff Program was conducted in two (2) Parts, which started with a Pre-Program highlighted by the audio-visual presentation (AVP) of the BIR’s 2023 tax campaign theme and logo and 2022 BIR Accomplishments.

An AVP of the BIR’s Chatbot, Revie was also shown followed by the appearance of the Revie mascot dancing to the tune of the BIR Tax Campaign Jingle. The Pre-Program ended with a Taxpayer’s Message delivered by popular vlogger and celebrity, Ivana Alawi.

Ms. Alawi, expressed her support to the government as she shared her pledge of commitment during the kickoff. “As social media influencers, we earn from advertisements and sponsorships. We are the new breed of internet celebrities. Masarap po sa pakiramdam na nagagawa ko po ang tungkulin ko bilang isang taxpayer. While we enjoy the popularity and financial rewards, the responsibility is still on us. Alam po namin na may malaki kaming responsibilidad sa ating publiko. We are influencers and as responsible influencers and good citizens; it is our moral obligation and duty to pay our correct taxes,” Alawi said.

The Main Program started with the Welcome Message of Commissioner Lumagui wherein he acknowledged the valuable contribution of taxpayers to “help the country weather the effects of the pandemic.”

Commissioner Lumagui then gave an overview of the Bureau’s Plans and Programs in 2023 to improve the BIR systems and processes and make it easy and convenient for taxpayers to comply with their tax obligations through the implementation of various Digitalization Programs.

“Starting 2023, the BIR will be introducing gradual reforms with long term benefits to tax administration. From a goal-driven agency- primarily focusing on how to meet its collection targets, we will recalibrate our approach into a service-oriented office, marked by excellence, integrity and professionalism. Magiging sentro ng koleksiyon ng buwis ang maayos, simple, maaasahan at tapat na serbisyo sa ating mga kababayan. Our commitment is to give our brand of service: Serbisyong BIR, Tapat at Maaasahan,” Lumagui said.

“While we strive to render efficient, effective, and compassionate service, this should only benefit our honest and law-abiding taxpayers. Against tax evaders, we will not stop with our hardline stance. We will not hesitate to prosecute erring taxpayers. We will continue to go after illicit traders. We will charge producers and users of fake receipts. We will continue with our enforcement activities and put more emphasis on tapping into the huge pot of uncollected taxes which escape the public purse through fraud or illegal activities”, Commissioner Lumagui warned.

He ended his message by appealing for support and cooperation from all the attendees of the kickoff. “Magtatagumpay lang tayo kung lahat tayo ay TULONG-TULONG SA PAGBANGON, KAPIT KAMAY SA PAG-AHON.  Kaya’t samahan nyo kami.  Magtulungan po tayo.”

Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno, on the other hand, encouraged all the BIR officials and employees to faithfully, efficiently and fairly collect revenues to fund the country’s comprehensive efforts towards recovery and development. “The whole nation relies on you, your commitment and dedication are the main keys to improve our fiscal position now that our economy is in the recovery period”, he said.

Secretary Diokno also appealed for the full support of taxpayers, especially the new generation of entrepreneurs and emerging business in the new economy, in generating funds for the country’s continued recovery and development.

He ended his message with a firm assurance to the taxpaying public that the government will make sure that every cent of tax money will go into the betterment and progress of the country.

President Marcos assured the BIR that his administration will always give its support in all its aspirations of developing a country that is conducive for employment opportunities, financial investments and institution-building.

Also, the President mentioned that the BIR provides the lifeblood of the government and acknowledged the BIR’s efforts in the country’s revenue collection for 2022.

“You have intensified the implementation of the Run After Tax Evaders Program for tax evaders that dealt into the violations of the tax code and to ensure that the tax evaders will pay their taxes due to the government”.

“I challenge the men and women of the BIR to work towards further gaining the confidence of the public in the tax system by upholding high standards of integrity, professionalism and competency in the performance of your duties”, President Marcos added.

President Marcos likewise encouraged the public to pay the correct amount of taxes on time to support the country’s economic recovery and expansion so critical in this time.

The BIR has aligned its tax campaign theme in support to President Marcos’ advocacy of unifying every Filipino to pay their correct taxes that will be of great help in fueling the lifeblood of the country, for nation-building and upliftment of the lives of the Filipinos.