Taxpayer torture

7

I JUST found out that the BIR will be requiring e-returns or filing the income tax through the Internet. I read about five newspapers a day, watch the television news and pay attention to government announcements but the news just got to me this week in a very roundabout way.

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Actually as a senior citizen, I am thankfully exempted from having to go on line. That was the only comfortable part of the sudden announcement.

But I do sympathize with whoever has to file their income tax return through the Internet. The BIR website has been chancy if not unreliable. It may even crash though I sincerely hope not, for the taxpayers’ sake.

Should not the BIR have gone on a massive information drive lasting months and with seminars, practice sessions, lessons on how to do it before embarking on this radical step?

Couldn’t they have learned a lesson from the Obamacare registration in the US that was a mess? Meaning that demanding Internet know-how for a complicated ritual as figuring out taxes by multitudes is a recipe for chaos.

But that is the problem with our government agencies, they have to be served instead of serving. Paying VAT for whatever transaction (as in real estate, etc.) is a pain. You have to shuttle from your bank to the government bank and to the BIR in whatever order (if any order) and I cannot quite tell you the procedure because it is never clear, always new, always a pain.

You may call me technologically challenged but not ignorant, unintelligent or stupid. I am just made to feel that way by government offices that collect our taxes, fees or whatever.

I am not qualified to say how the BIR should have proceeded but I certainly rue the fact that their information is absent or too late. Watch the mess on April 15. And I just find it surreal that if a taxpayer makes a mistake (as in not doing it the e-way), there will be a fine of P1,000 and a 25% surcharge on the tax that is due. Talk about taxation without representation, BIR makes the rules but does not explain how they should be followed, and if you err, you will be punished. I said “surreal”–beyond reality, unrealistic. Could be stupid too.

This is a failure of administration or management. Communicate, explain, demonstrate, practice if you want to install a radically different way of doing things on a massive scale. Practice what you preach.

Already last year I heard a former bank president say that the BIR forms were driving him berserk. He could not fit the information asked in them because the forms were so rigid.

The path of least resistance is to turn it over to a certified public accountant but the way things have sprung up, I doubt if even CPA’s will be thrilled by this sudden, mysterious move.

The rationale seems to be to make it easier for the BIR to count the money and never mind the plight of those who pay it.

Happy Easter!

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7 Comments

  1. “Kapag walang corrupt, walang mahirap”

    Kapag walang “paki” (concern) walang problema! Kapag ka-klase, ka-barilan at kaibigan… lalong walang problema at laging masaya!

    That’s what you think… the likes of you are all hellbound- believe it or not!

  2. Salute to the government we serve. Salute to the government to cut the cost of their printing while making it a burden to the taxpayer. Not just that, their e-return, accdng to their computerized program should be printed in A4 size, after we print it in more copies the receiving staff of BIR ask for a legal size copies. What a real TORTURE for The TAXPAYERRRRRRRR,,!
    ,

  3. The e-filing system has been around for several years now and it is working perfectly. However it is limited to companies filing for their tax payments. Now they are rolling it out to a much wider segment. You could just imagine the volume of taxpayers trying to download and upload. If they have a competent IT, they should have planned to upgrade or add new web servers plus upgrading the bandwidth.
    If the IT head of BIR doesn’t know this, then you can’t put the blame on Kim Henares.

  4. You say it wasnt hardly mentioned on the news here, well ive found most news in the philippines pretty useless at the best of times. I think its slowly getting better but a lot still needs to be done.

    Now the bir, well as with anything in the philippines dont expect anything to be made easy. Its not the philippine way. It will as is always the case be a shambles & people looking to blame & no one accepting it was their fault. Thats how it will be you just watch.

  5. The taxes collection is ok only if it served its purposes in reviving the economy and bring a better future for the majority of us. But excessive taxes must be avoided because it destroy it purposes.
    Taxes per se must not be a burden but a duty for all of us to follow .likewise the government collecting agency must not imposed harsh condition. Because it doesn’t serve its purposed by doing so.
    Tax collection and payment must be simple and easy to follow . This will help the majority tax payment in easing its burden and time consuming line up.
    Kim Heneres , is doing its job on high degree of professionalizm without bias I think. This can help the our country growth provided other government agencies follow in plugging the loop hole on corruption by any government personnels be it elected and not elected .

  6. Claro Apolinar on

    Kim Henares, a brilliant and capable executive, is just doing the bidding of her BOSSES who are the most corrupt people ever to take power in Malacanang.