THE House of Representatives and later, the Senate, on Wednesday ratified the proposed Ease of Paying Taxes (EOPT) law.
House Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Ma. Jose Clemente “Joey” S. Salceda said the proposed law will now be sent to President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. for signature as the Senate is also expected to ratify the proposal by Wednesday.
His counterpart in the Senate, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, reported to his peers the bicameral conference committee report on the EOPT.
“This will drag the tax system out of the past century and into the Internet age. With EOPT, we now have a fully digital-ready tax system that caters to the global Filipino,” the lawmaker said.
The EOPT measure will allow taxpayers to file and pay their taxes anywhere, remove the registration fee requirement, and create micro, small, and medium taxpayer services in the Bureau of Internal Revenue on top of the existing “Large Taxpayer Service.”
Micro-taxpayers are also not required to be withholding agents to reduce their tax compliance burden.
Salceda said a P3-million VAT exempt threshold for businesses will also be adjusted annually based on inflation. “Because if we do not adjust that, more small businesses will have to pay VAT in the future,” the lawmaker explained.
Salceda said that “the most irritating and illogical parts of our tax system” were also removed.
For example, he said that the BIR currently requires an annual registration fee of P500 for all taxpayers.
“Imagine. You pay to pay taxes. That’s gone with EOPT,” Salceda said. “The most annoying processes in the tax system, such as onsite transfer of registration, will now also be fully online. The authority to print receipts will also be free of charge.”
The solon added that the EOPT measure also has provisions that will benefit overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). He said the proposal makes registration facilities available for taxpayers abroad.
This is “a frequent lament because OFWs cannot register for TIN; a requirement for investing in stocks,” Salceda said. “We also exempted OFWs from having to file tax returns if they earn income solely from abroad.”
The lawmaker said that the measure will make the VAT refund system “easier, faster and more efficient.” “It’s one of the most pressing issues in our tax system. Investors have suffered greatly as a result of our onerous VAT refund process,” Salceda said.
Under the measure, the VAT refund system will take into account high, low, and medium-risk refunds to expedite the processing of claims that are not high-risk.
Salceda also noted that the EOPT measure shifts the tax system from requiring both receipts and invoices to just invoices for both goods and services “to accelerate the implementation of the electronic invoicing system.”