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.
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