(File photo)

MANILA – The House of Representatives on Monday approved on second reading a measure that seeks to reduce documentary requirements, allow taxpayers to file their returns in any revenue district office, and remove the annual taxpayer registration fee.

During the plenary session, the chamber passed through voice voting House Bill 4125, or the proposed Ease of Paying Taxes Act, with the aim to modernize tax administration and improve tax compliance.

The measure introduces a medium taxpayer classification and a corresponding Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) special unit for better service and tax administration.

Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, author of the bill, said if the bill is enacted into law, tax administration efficiency will yield an estimated PHP73.1 billion additional revenues over a period of five years.

“The bill aims to simplify tax filing and payment, and address burdensome tax compliance which affects our small and medium enterprises and turns off our investors. We hope that this could reduce the tax gap, estimated to be PHP909 billion in 2018,” Salceda said.

The measure seeks to segment taxpayers, simplify the forms and requirements for small taxpayers, allow filing and paying of taxes to be portable, and harmonize the documentation for substantiating value-added transaction (VAT) credits.

Salceda said the proposed law is also expected to reduce opportunities for corruption and improve taxpayer experience through the modernization of tax administration procedures.

"Ultimately, we aim to boost taxpayer morale by building trust and legitimacy between the government and taxpayers as it holds the potential to increase revenues which translates to additional infrastructure and better social and health services for our fellow Filipinos," he said. (PNA)