By Mary Grace Padin, February 15, 2020; The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — In another effort to make its services more convenient for Filipinos, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) yesterday officially welcomed PayMaya as a new digital channel where taxpayers can easily pay their taxes.

According to the BIR, individual taxpayers may now use the PayMaya mobile app to settle their tax payments, making the process more convenient and accessible for Filipinos.

Internal Revenue Deputy Commissioner Lanee David said the initiative is part of the BIR’s journey to becoming a digitally transformed government institution by 2030.

“Over the years, the BIR has worked to develop its IT capabilities so as to better serve the public by providing more convenient and reliable services. We have been able to implement a wide range of electronic services, but the constantly changing economic and corporate landscape of the Philippines and the global community demands that we continuously explore ways to improve our electronic services,” David said.

She said PayMaya is the seventh electronic channel made available by the BIR for taxpayers.

Other online facilities are the BIR’s Electronic Filing and Payment System (EFPS), Gcash, Development Bank of the Philippines Pay Tax Online Facility, Land Bank of the Philippines LinkBiz portal, Union Bank of the Philippines online payment facility and PESONet.

“Now with the addition of PayMaya, we are expecting a significant shift in favor of electronic payments and of course, a significant increase in our e-filers. By tapping PayMaya, BIR will be able to elevate taxpayer experience by allowing them to pay taxes anytime, anywhere with just a few taps on their mobile phones,” the BIR official said.

Soon, David said the BIR would be able to accept payments from users using only their mobile numbers linked to a PayMaya account through the BIR website. It would also be able to process payments using any credit, debit, or prepaid card through PayMaya.

“We are proud to be enabling the BIR with new options for card and wallet payments through PayMaya. As more Filipinos go digital, the BIR is opening up secure, convenient, and reliable options to the taxpaying public. Now, it’s easier than ever to pay your taxes using only your mobile phone with the help of PayMaya,” Orlando Vea, founder and chief executive officer of PayMaya said.

In 2019, taxes collected by the BIR through its electronic channels jumped almost two-fold to P1.2 billion from P626.35 billion in the previous year.

The BIR also reported that the number of electronic transactions last year reached 446,753, up by 60 percent from the 278,602 transactions done through e-channels in 2018.

David also reported that 1.796 million or 60 percent of business taxpayers in the Philippines have become electronic filers in 2019.