By Philippine News Agency, January 27, 2o23; Philippine News Agency

MANILA – The online filing of tax returns must include overseas Filipinos workers to enable them to fulfill their obligations even while out of the country.

Senator Win Gatchalian said payment of real estate and estate tax, among others, would be easier for non-residents or those working overseas if they would be accommodated under the Electronic Filing and Payment System of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

“If we are to improve our efficiency in tax collection, we need to make it easier for our taxpayers to pay their taxes. Kailangan nating magkaroon ng maayos na sistema at mas maayos na pagtrato sa ating mga taxpayer upang mapataas natin ang (We need to fix our system and create a better means for our taxpayers to increase our) tax compliance,” Gatchalian said in a news release on Friday.

The proposal is integrated into Gatchalian’s Senate Bill 1346 or the Ease of Paying Tax, which introduces administrative tax reforms by amending certain provisions of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997.

As per data from the BIR, only 43 percent of the total number of tax returns were filed electronically in 2015, rising sharply in 2020 to about 94 percent of the tax returns amid the global pandemic.

Aside from providing taxpayers the option of filing their returns and paying the taxes due through electronic means, the bill also seeks to allow the payment of taxes to any authorized agent bank (AAB), not just in AABs in the revenue district office where the taxpayer is registered.