BIR efforts to bring services ‘closer’ to taxpayers lauded

By Leonel Abasola

September 15 2022, 4:37 pm

MANILA – Senator Win Gatchalian on Thursday lauded the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) in its effort to bring closer to the taxpayers their rights and obligations as he also sought for more hearings to determine if there is a need to create a National Taxpayers Advocate.

“We are open for more discussions if a tax advocate is needed. I personally believe that duplication results in confusion” Gatchalian, chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, said.

BIR Deputy Commissioner Marissa Cabreros said the agency fully supported the outcome of the hearing on Senate Bill Nos. 1077 or the Taxpayer Bill of Rights Act, and 1199 or the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights and Obligations Act, but pointed out that the BIR is equipped to protect the taxpayers citing their programs.

The bill was filed by Senator Lito Lapid last month to protect taxpayers allegedly subjected to harassment by some officials of the BIR and Bureau of Customs (BoC) and create the National Taxpayers Advocate in order to promote tax compliance and assist taxpayers.

Senate Bill No. 1199 or An Act Ordaining a Bill of Rights and Obligations of the Taxpayer was also introduced by Gatchalian

Cabreros said the Department of Finance (DOF) oversees BIR for compliance for the protection of taxpayers, adding the BIR can also provide Congress with its reports if requested.

The BIR official also explained that they have a Client Support Service (CSC) in every revenue office to personally give assistance, offer online services, and disseminate information to all revenue offices.

With regards to complaints, Cabreros said that taxpayers can file their complaints through the CSC and if they want, they can also file directly to the BIR national office be it personal or anonymous.

“There is a defined rule that the taxpayers disputed collections they can file it thru CSC or report to the national office, and they can also openly file their complaint and remain anonymous if they wish,” Cabreros said.

Gatchalian said he understands the duties and obligations of the BIR as he lauded the agency for its effort in bringing it closer to the taxpayers.

“I commend BIR for really making an effort to make it easy for our taxpayers,” Gatchalian said, adding he personally visited BIR’s website and noticed its improvement. (PNA)