THE year 2020 was tough for everyone, but not all bad. For one, the Bureau of Internal Revenue had some record-breaking achievements in the past year.
As reported by Commissioner Caesar R. Dulay during the Business Review Meeting with the Secretary of Finance last January 13, the BIR collected a total of P 1.94 trillion in 2020, surpassing its goal of P 1.69 trillion by P 255.19 billion amidst the pandemic. This goal attainment of 115.14% is the highest percentage ever recorded in the bureau’s history for the past two (2) decades. “It’s the first time that BIR went above its goal by 15%. The last time the BIR hit its goal was in 2001 and 2003, that was 17 years ago,” the commissioner said.
Finance Secretary Carlos G. Domínguez III responded to the commissioner, saying “Thank you very much, I want to again congratulate the BIR for the good performance”.
The bureau’s good collection performance was made possible through the strict implementation of Taxpayer Account Management Program, monitoring of withholding tax remittances, and continued tax awareness activities, which revenue offices nationwide have been able to sustain even during the most restricted quarantine period through the use of phones, emails, virtual meetings, and other electronic platforms.
Other tax enforcement initiatives that significantly contributed to the bureau’s overall collections are the issuance of Warrants of Distraint and Levy, and Warrants of Garnishments, and implementation of compromise settlement that caused the collection of accounts receivable/delinquent accounts totaling to P 998.96 million.
Vigorous implementation of the Run After Tax Evaders Program and Oplan Kandado Program resulted to filing of 157 cases with the DOJ with aggregate tax liabilities of P 7.447 billion, filing of 24 cases at the CTA with total estimated liabilities of P 753.75 million; and closure of 209 establishments nationwide, and collection of P 607.87 million.
“The Run After Tax Evaders Program have been proven effective because the taxpayers feel that there is no “let-up” in filing of cases against them (erring taxpayers). We were able to collect about P 607 million. That’s why we get a lot of complaints from taxpayers also about these programs. But we advised our people to just be polite and respectful but firm when they implement this Oplan Kandado the commissioner said.
Also, BIR collections from the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) continued to increase from P 2.36 billion in 2018 to P 7.18 billion in 2020. It grew by 172.43% in 2019 and by 11.71% in 2020. Moreover, the bureau was able to seize 55 units of cigarette-making machines; 4,890,124 packs of assorted cigarette products, and 22,389,022 counterfeit tax stamps valued at P 1.228 billion.
From January to December 2020, 21,481,994 returns were filed through the Bureau’s Electronic Filing and Payment (eFPS) and Electronic BIR Forms (eBIRForms). Said figure represents 94% of the total returns filed in 2020, the highest percentage to date. As such, a total of P 1.665 trillion or 86% of the total BIR tax collections were collected through electronic payment channels, and P 4.98 billion of this amount were collected from the additional online payment channels. The online payment channels are Gcash/DBP Debit and Credit Card/ LBP Online and Pesonet/ Unionbank and the recently-launched, PayMaya.