The 5 Things We Love about the BIR E-filing System

Published: April 15, 2015 | Updated: October 29, 2020 | Posted by: Moneymax | Personal Finance


BIR E-filing system
Given the April 15th deadline to manually file your income tax, everyone was in a scramble to get theirs done by today. The additional fact that the electronic copy of your income tax form must be filed is enough to either confuse or downright cause rage in the average taxpayer.
So let’s be real for a little while, and call a spade for a spade. Here are the five stupidest things about the new BIR E-Filing system.

The fact that the extension applies to the e-filing

A June 15 extension was given for filing the electronic copies of ITRs… But only if it’s of the “no payment” variety. This was done in order to allow the BIR to “concentrate on returns with payments”. But even if you don’t have to pay anything, you still have to manually file your “No Payment” ITR by today.

The fact that manually filed returns need to be re-filed electronically

Manually filed returns need to be re-filed electronically by June 15th, or penalties will apply, which differ from all other penalties already imposed on taxpayers should they be delayed in manually filing their ITRs. It defeats the purpose of actually going to your Registered District Office and standing in line for hours on end just to get it done.

The conflict regarding its implementation

It apparently takes about a month to activate a taxpayer’s e-filing account via their bank. If the point of the e-filing system is to lessen the burden of taxpayers, and prevent the “armageddon” that exists each time taxpayers have to file their ITRs, the BIR needs a different strategy.
Taxpayers newly enrolled to Electronic Filing and Payment System (EFPS) whose registration with authorized agent banks (AABs) has not been completed will have issues as it takes a month for this to be activated, which means they’ll miss the April 15 deadline and incur more penalties.

The Downloadable Form

To electronically file your ITR, you need to acquire the eBIRForms program online – through a third-party website. This presents a security risk to the information within the form, and the possibility that the download could be turned into a carrier for a number of computer viruses and other malware if someone managed to compromise the site.
The form also adheres to its own coding and isn’t as easily edited. People trying to get their taxes done encountered instances where the form doesn’t print properly, forcing the footer onto a separate page.

The Incompatibility Issues

Many a taxpayer attempting to get their taxes done on time – including the electronic filing – may have found themselves with glitched out programs, or forms that didn’t show properly owing to the fact that the entire thing had been created with base compatibility on Internet Explorer.
The defense of Secretary Kim Henares that a taxpayer should simply access the electronic filing via an internet café doesn’t help either. Internet café systems are generally for public use, and as such lack security measures to guard against the possibility of one’s information being made public.
Imagine that your address, full name, social security and tax identification numbers were suddenly made public – all because the only way to get your taxes done was to use a computer in an internet café.
Granting that the point is to eventually make the transition to paperless ITR filing at some point, there are still a lot of bugs that need to be worked out in the system. Here’s hoping that maybe next year, it’ll be less… taxing.

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