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Foreign chambers back e-invoice, e-receipt

The Joint Foreign Chambers of the Philippines (JFC) has expressed support to the use of e-invoice and e-receipt between registered businesses and their customers as part of the administration’s proposed comprehensive tax reform package (CTRP).
In a position paper submitted to the House committee on ways and means, the JFC said the maximum use of digital technology in the conduct of business could reduce red tape and help ease traffic congestion.
“We strongly support using digital technology to the maximum extent in the conduct of business both between registered businesses and their customers and with the BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue),” it said.
Under House Bill 4774 authored by committee chair and Quirino Rep. Dakila Cua, electronically-generated value-added tax (VAT) invoices and receipts shall be recognized for input tax purposes.
This tax administrative component of the CTRP was inputted by House leaders Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and Cua.
The group cited the United Nations E-governance Survey in 2016 wherein the Philippines ranked 71st of 193 countries, a huge fall from the 33rd spot back in 2003.
The foreign chambers said this ranking reflects the “slow adaptation of digital technology by government in its interactions with the public.”
“Thus, institutionalizing the use of e-invoice is definitely a step towards the right direction given the move to digitize all information,” it said.
Among the signatories of the manifesto include the American Chamber of Commerce, Australia-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce, Canadian Chamber of Commerce, European Chamber of Commerce, Japanese Chamber of Commerce, the Korean Chamber of Commerce and the Philippine Association of Multinational Companies.
The group, however, suggested that the use of e-invoice and e-receipt shall become mandatory “within five years of enactment of this law, regardless of whether or not they are part of computerized accounting system.”
The JFC also recommended simplifying the invoicing and receipting data required of the taxpayer by only requiring the name and Tax Identification Number (TIN).
This tax administrative component of the CTRP was inputted by Cua and Alvarez.
For his part, Department of Finance Undersecretary Karl Chua also expressed support to the tax administration overhaul proposed in the bill, particularly through e-receipts and data interconnectivity and sharing.
Chua, however, raised concern regarding the timing as it would require significant investments for an automated system, interconnectivity, and issuance of e-receipts.
Chua also said mandating interconnectivity between the BIR and the country’s businesses utilizing point-of-sales machines may not be as cost-effective for all industry sectors and would only work well for the retail sector.

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