Recent important updates on eBIRForms and others

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There’s really not a year where Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has no surprise when it comes to tax rules and regulations particularly on tax filing. Every year, there are new sets of rules, procedures, forms introduced to taxpayers, tax agents and all other stakeholders that add pressure in meeting the filing deadlines. Aside from the very imperfect timing of these new directions, there is also lack of information dissemination and taxpayer education.

We feel you, filing income tax returns is becoming a headache of virtually all of the taxpayers, even those who don’t need to pay. While it’s good that the BIR is finding ways to make filing easier in the long run (in the sense like, once you are enrolled online, it would be easy and convenient for you to file you next returns), its imperfect timing of implementation usually leads to a more disastrous situation, especially those who are not keen in using computers and internet.

Yes, it’s true that it’s pass Jurassic era and most of the businesses nowadays use technology in order to carry out their day-to-day activities but I guess that isn’t a valid excuse. Users/taxpayers must be well-educated and fully familiar with the use of the new systems and processes before they are implemented on a wide scale.  

I think that’s too much about the implementation issues.  We can’t do anything about that, so let’s just face it. It’s a good thing though that there are various organizations who are appealing to the BIR in order to defer the implementation of various issuances that are really perfectly imperfect in timing.  

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What do we have so far? From the time the eBIRForms is introduced, what are updates that every taxpayer must know? We’ll discuss them briefly one-by-one in this article. Feel free to add in the comments section if you think we miss anything important.

Summary of updates

Revenue Regulations (RR) 5-2015 (dated March 17, 2015) – makes it mandatory for those who are covered by RR 6-2014 to electronically submit and file all their tax returns:

  • Confirmation e-mail will be received upon successful filing
  • Filing reference number (FRN) will be generated by the system and should be printed and presented to the Authorized Agent Banks (AABs) for payment
  • Penalty of P1,000 per return in case of failure
  • 25% penalty on account of filing in the wrong venue
  • Noncompliant taxpayers will be included in the audit priority program

Revenue Memorandum Circular (RMC) No. 2-2015 (dated January 9, 2015) informs all taxpayers on the availability of the offline eBIRForms package version 4.7

  • Availability in the eBIRForms particularly Seven (7) returns Five (5) of which are income tax returns as follows: 1702-RT, 1702-MX, 1702-EX, 1701, 1700, 2200A, 2200T
  • Online submission for eBIRForms System users for the above forms to the said system is not yet available

RMC No. 11-2015 (dated March 27, 2015) – clarified the meaning of client-taxpayers in the mandatory coverage for the use of eBIRForms as mandated by RR No. 6-2014.

  • “Client-taxpayers” in the “Accredited Tax Agents/Practitioners and all its client-taxpayers” means those taxpayers who are authorizing their tax agents/practitioners to file on their behalf
  • Client-taxpayers whose tax agents/practitioners only signs the audit certificate but have no authority to file returns are not covered
  • Linking module of authorization by the client-taxpayer to tax agent is available online via eBIRForms

RMC No. 12-2015 (dated March 27, 2015) – clarified the “no payment returns” in relation to mandatory filing of eBIRForms by taxpayer covered by RR No. 6-2014:

  • Following taxpayers are still allowed to file manually to the RDO where registered using officially printed forms/photocopied or electronic/computer generated returns:
    • Senior Citizen and Persons with Disability filing their own returns;
    • Employees deriving purely compensation income and the income has been withheld correctly whether with single or multiple employers
    • Employees qualified for substituted filing under RR No. 2-98 but opted to file an ITR
  • Above taxpayers are encouraged to use offline eBIRForms for ease and convenience and accuracy
  • Above taxpayers are encouraged to file electronically to avoid crowd and long lines
  • All business taxpayers with no payment returns are mandated to use eBIRForms/EFPS must electronically file return

RMC No. 13-2015 (dated March 31, 2015) – amends RMC No. 57-2011

  • Making the disclosure of Supplementary Information under BIR Form No. 1700 and 1701 optional covering and starting with calendar year 2014 (for filing on or before April 15, 2015)
  • Said disclosure will become mandatory in 2015

RR No. 6-2014 recap

The BIR issued RR No. 6-2014 making  it mandatory for non-eFPS filers or taxpayers to use eBIRForms covering thirty six (36) BIR Forms in the preparation and filing of their returns effective September 24, 2014. Among those covered are:

  1. Accredited Tax Agents/Practitioners and all its client-taxpayers;
  2. Accredited Printers of Principal and Supplementary Receipts/Invoices;
  3. One-Time Transaction (ONETT) taxpayers;
  4. Those who shall file a “No Payment” Return;
  5. Government-Owned or -Controlled Corporations (GOCCs);
  6. Local Government Units (LGUs), except barangays; and
  7. Cooperatives registered with National Electrification Administration (NEA) and Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA)

Those who are not included in the above list are encouraged, but are not required to use the eBIRForms offline package nor the online system. 

What this means to you?

It is important for you to know these updates to be well-informed in the decisions that you make in terms of filing your tax returns and become more efficient amidst all the new developments especially the new issuances issued by the BIR that seemingly make compliance more difficult. 

For example, knowing that supplemental information is no longer mandatory for 2014 1701 and 1700 returns, you will no longer waste time filling up the returns and gathering unnecessary documents from various sources like banks and other parties.

Knowing that “no payment returns” which are mandated to electronically file returns doesn’t include employees earning purely compensation income with no tax still due, you can decide to just fill out a return using offline eBIRForms or a printed form and submit it to your RDO.

Some taxpayers sees eBIRForms as additional burden that just waste their time without realizing the benefit of it. Despite of the various negative experiences we had with using the forms, maybe we can consider it as a learning that will make us more efficient after our first try. For example, you might have experienced a lot of troubles in registering with the online eBIRForms System but when you are already registered, filing your next returns are just few clicks away (provided that you have a stable internet connection).

At the end of the day, when the government mandates us to comply, we can not do anything but to comply because non-compliance can be more costly. Let’s just hope that our government will have a friendlier approach in implementing changes that impacts our ability to comply and will make our lives easier. 

Let us know what you think! 🙂


Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this article are that of the author and information provided are for general conceptual guidance for public information and are not substitute for expert advice. Contact support@philcpa.org for more information and if you want to avail professional services. Find us on Facebook!



Orlando Calundan is a CPA who has exposures in FS audit of entities in various industries such as real estate, food/restaurants, manufacturing, service organizations and BPOs, automotive, holding/investment companies and more. He also has exposure on internal audit engagements.

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