Philippines eyes deal with Russia on tax data capture
Robie de Guzman • February 4, 2021 • 519
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines and Russia are exploring possible cooperation that could further improve the country’s tax administration and compliance, the Department of Finance (DOF) said.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the DOF said officials from the country’s Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and Russia’s Federal Tax Service (FTS) met to discuss the latter’s best practices that could be applied in the Philippines’ revenue agencies.
During an online meeting with FTS deputy commissioner Dmitry Volvach last January 13, both countries explored a possible bilateral agreement between the revenue agencies of the two nations.
In a report to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez during a recent executive committee (Execom) meeting, BIR Deputy Commissioner Arnel Guballa commended Russia’s tax administration system, which, he said, uses artificial intelligence and data analytics to capture taxpayers’ information.
“We had an initial meeting with the Federal Tax Service of Russia, represented by their Deputy Commissioner Dmitry Volvach. They have good tax administration. They started their digitalization in 2016 and, after 5 years, they are now into capturing almost all the data of taxpayers,” said Guballa in his report.
Guballa said they learned from the FTS that it now audits only 1 out of 7,000 taxpayers as a result of Russia’s well-placed and efficient system that encourages people to comply with tax laws.
Last January 15, the BIR launched its Internal Revenue Integrated System (IRIS), which will serve as the agency’s central tool and repository to process taxpayers’ information.
It is expected to be rolled out nationwide in the fourth quarter of 2021, according to Guballa.
The IRIS launching forms part of the deliverables this year under the BIR’s long-term Digital Transformation Program, he added.
MANILA, Philippines – The number of individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 through rapid antigen tests will now be included in the Philippines’ case count, Malacañang said Friday.
In a televised briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) reached the decision during their meeting on Thursday in an aim to improve the reporting of COVID-19 cases.
“’Yan po ang ating objective para mas maging mabuti yung picture natin kung ilan ang total cases natin,” Roque said.
He, however, clarified that these tests will be subjected to confirmatory tests.
The use of antigen test is mostly effective for people who already manifested symptoms within the first five days of their onset as the viral load of the patient is at the highest during this time.
In line with this, the IATF directed the Department of Health NCR Center for Health Development to monitor and facilitate registration of facilities using rapid antigen kits.
They must also ensure that antigen line tests are collected and consolidated from health facilities, localities, as well as temporary treatment and monitoring facilities.
“Kaugnay nito, ang Department of Health NCR Center for Health Development ay inatasang mag-facilitate ng registration ng facilities na gumagamit ng rapid antigen kits,” he said.
“Augmentation of disease surveillance surveillance staff and encoders are considered to ensure that line lists are generated and submitted on a daily basis,” he added.
As of Sept. 23, the Philippines has 165,780 active COVID-19 cases based on DOH data.
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