June 6, 2023

The current buzzword in tax is digital transformation. The business sector will be well aware that riding the digital wave is usually necessary and inevitable. Companies that can leverage plus successfully implement digital change — if they have not yet done so — have the distinct opportunity to seize new growth opportunities ahead of competitors and smoothly transition as government rolls out digital innovation initiatives.

At the particular 1 st SGV Tax Symposium organized by SGV & Co. and held on Aug. 19, digital development and company transformation were widely discussed by guest speakers plus panelists, in alignment with the main theme, The Future of Tax.

One of the highlights of the symposium was the presentation of BIR Commissioner Lilia C. Guillermo, which zeroed in upon digital modification in tax administration.

Ms. Guillermo centered on the BIR’s 2030 digitalization vision, which is composed of four pillars: the strengthening of the particular BIR organization; modernizing the BIR electronic backbone; enhancing policies, governance, and standards; and elevating taxpayer experience and innovating BIR services. In her presentation, she said digitalization is not an one-person show, but a long and deliberate process in which all stakeholders must be fully engaged.

The BIR’s digital alteration program aims to transform the BIR into a data-driven organization through a digitally empowered plus resilient workforce utilizing reliable, scalable, and robust digital technologies plus infrastructure to innovate BIR services and elevate taxpayer experiences.

During the particular Conversation along with C-Suites session, which was moderated by SGV Tax Head Fabian K. delos Santos, executives from the logistics; information plus communications technology (ICT); and property development and retail sectors emphasized that businesses must keep pace with the ever-changing digital landscape and prepare to harness the bene fi ts of the truly electronic economy.

International Container Terminal Services, Inc. Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Rafael D. Consing, Jr., Converge ICT Solutions, Inc. Chief Executive Officer Dennis Anthony H. Uy, and SM Prime Holdings, Inc. CFO John Nai Peng C. Ong all acknowledged the paramount need for companies to equip themselves with the necessary tools to be ready for the particular digitalized mode of taxes administration plus enforcement.

As the Department of Finance and Bureau of Internal Revenue are poised to adopt the electronic invoicing system (EIS), taxpayers — particularly those who have been selected in order to participate inside the pilot program — must have readied their infrastructure for the EIS implementation.

Mr. Consing said e-invoicing is a breakthrough project that is aligned with ICTSI’s own digital initiatives. The logistics company was among the early preparers, recognizing the benefits of digitalizing a portion of its finance function, mainly since it operates in various jurisdictions.

E-invoicing could bring about ease of compliance for the private sector and at the particular same time, real-time monitoring on the part of the BIR. Compliance using the invoicing requirements for those seeking refund claims will also largely gain from digital receipting.

Mr. Uy, meanwhile, stressed the particular important role that the ICT field will play in the government’s digital change for better.

The electronic infrastructure should be established to pave the way for wider broadband penetration and improved speed quality. Without a mature digital framework, full implementation associated with any electronic endeavor may prove to be challenging.

The discussion also delved into recent legislative changes that have had a major impact upon business and are expected to foster a more vibrant economy.

Mister. Ong said the passage of Republic Act 11032 or the particular Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018, is definitely lauded by the property industry, especially companies like SM Prime, which is engaged inside nationwide mall operations plus real estate advancement. Permit filings and securing of licenses were made more convenient, principally in areas where government agencies have set up satellite offices in malls.

He cited other developments that will drum up more economic activity in the short- to medium-term, such as the liberalization of the Retail Trade Law and the harmonization of tax incentives under the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act, including the publication associated with the Strategic Investments Priority Plan, which includes the establishment of smart cities.

The particular retail sector, he stated, will likely take advantage of the trade liberalization rules allowing foreigners to set up shop within the Philippines with lower investment requirements. The more relaxed rules are usually expected in order to encourage a lot more direct investments into the particular malls. Mr. Ong added that smart cities may bring about progressive advancements envisioned below the current administration’s socioeconomic agenda.

ICTSI’s Mister. Consing mentioned industries heavily immersed in science, technologies, engineering, plus mathematics should still end up being encouraged to sustain the country’s development.

Digitalization can also provide previously considered sunset industries along with a new lease on life. Online selling, with regard to instance, grew by leaps and bounds during the particular pandemic. Giving this field access to digital infrastructure allowed it in order to electronically market and sell products, that was formerly not widely available.

All these economic activities will result in more taxable revenues as well as the corresponding taxes collected can be funneled back into the economy.

While the electronic shift might face challenges in places where manual procedures have been the norm, executives are confident that these are only temporary. They, however, cautioned that there is the need regarding strong regulations to prevent any technological abuse.

Even the BIR recognizes that will true and lasting shift will not be achieved overnight. Among the first steps that must be taken is to learn and build the capabilities of BIR examiners plus personnel using a specialized BIR learning platform. The BIR wants to train and introduce its personnel to the industry’s best practices, including analytics and systems development, the establishment of a cybersecurity framework, enterprise architecture, advanced data warehouse solutions, and project management methodologies.

Indeed, it will still take time before full digital compliance and monitoring will be the rule more than an exception. But both the public and private sectors need to gear up in order to ride the particular digital wave, which may be typically the only way to successfully navigate this business world in often the foreseeable future.

This article is for general information only and is not a substitute for professional advice where your facts plus circumstances warrant. The views and opinions expressed above are those associated with the author and do not necessarily represent the exact views regarding EY or SGV & Co.

Cecille S. Visto is a tax senior director in addition to lead manager for the Entity Compliance and Governance Services involving SGV & Co.

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