BIR ramps up tax compliance and enforcement drives in 2023, results in higher collection performance

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has ramped up its tax compliance and tax enforcement drives in 2023, resulting in increased collection performance of PHP 2.34 trillion as of November 2023, exceeding the previous year’s collection of PHP 2.16 trillion by 8.6 percent.

The improved collection performance was the result of intensified programs and initiatives to encourage taxpayer compliance, as well as the continuous implementation of tax enforcement activities.

Through the BIR’s Run After Fake Transactions (RAFT) program launched in March 2023, the Bureau was able to file cases versus four ghost corporations with estimated tax liabilities of PHP 25.5 billion; and three Corporate Buyers and their Officers, Accounting Firms, and Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) with total estimated tax liabilities of PHP 17.9 billion.

Moreover, 15 criminal cases against buyers and sellers of ghost receipts were filed and legal proceedings against a total of 69 respondents at the Department of Justice (DOJ) have commenced, covering estimated tax liabilities totaling PHP 1.8 billion.

The Bureau’s strict nationwide enforcement operations on the illicit trade of cigarettes, vape, and other excisable articles as well as sweetened beverages, perfumes, and toilet water also led to increased tax collections.

From January to December 2023, the BIR collected a total of PHP 137.18 million and issued 1,096 mission orders.

To promote taxpayer compliance and confidence in the tax system, the BIR’s Run After Tax Evaders (RATE) Program filed a total of 221 cases before the DOJ with estimated tax liabilities of PHP 13.24 billion from January to November 2023.

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.

From January to November 2023, the BIR was also able to collect PHP 410.94 million and issue 186 closure orders for businesses found to violate essential value-added tax (VAT) requirements through its Oplan Kandado Program.

Meanwhile, taxpayers who filed their taxes electronically versus manually comprised 69 percent of total filers as of November 2023, reflecting a breakthrough in the BIR’s continuous efforts to make tax compliance more convenient and accessible for all.

Apart from these efforts, the BIR has ramped up its Digital Transformation (DX) Program to convert the Bureau into a data-driven organization by utilizing reliable, scalable, and robust digital technologies that elevate taxpayer experience.

Some projects under the DX Program are the Online Registration and Update System (ORUS), Project 230X, Online Tax Clearance, Electronic Invoicing/ Receipting and Sales Reporting System (EIS), Enhancement of One-Time Transaction (ONETT) System, Optimized Chatbot Revie, Enhanced Digital Queueing System, and E-Appointment services.

These projects are intended to provide taxpayers with modern, convenient, and accessible tools, as well as improve the Bureau’s internal processes to ensure efficient public service delivery.

“I commend the BIR for consistently delivering higher revenues for the country, which are much-needed to support the Marcos, Jr. administration’s priority programs and projects. 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,” Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said.