THE RESTRICTIONS and protocols during the new normal have altered the way we live and have made us forego some of our usual practices. For instance, going to government offices to process documents is quite inconvenient nowadays. Thus, the move towards digital transformation in government offices is highly emphasized.

One of the recent efforts of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) towards digital transformation is its adoption of the Mobile Taxpayer Identification Number Verifier App through Revenue Memorandum Circular (RMC) 13-2021. Interesting, right? This application allows us to validate TINs with just a few clicks on our smartphones and devices –an innovative measure of the Bureau to help taxpayers avoid long queues in BIR district offices for their transactions.

How does the app work?

I personally tried the mobile app to know what it offers. The app is available for download via Google Play Store for Android users and the App Store for iOS users. After installing, a privacy policy notice will pop up stating what personal information the app processes and collects from users. Upon agreeing with the privacy policy, you will then be directed to the main screen of the mobile app where you can see the TIN VERIFIER button. You can click on it to view the services available in the app which include TIN inquiry and TIN validation.

If, for some reason, you forget your TIN and wish to retrieve it, the TIN inquiry service can help you on that. On the other hand, if you already have a TIN but you want to make sure that it is legitimate and existing, then you may use the TIN validation service. Once you’ve chosen the service that suits your need, the app will require you to provide the following information: first name, middle name, last name, birthdate, address, civil status, spouse name (if applicable), and a selfie, along with a valid government-issued ID. Finally, after an agent screens the information you submitted, you can have your TIN retrieved or verified. The process saves you more time than transacting in BIR offices.

Like any other pioneering work, there are still a lot of things to be improved on in this app, such as providing more agents who will respond to queries of users and making the app available to non-individual taxpayers. Hopefully, the BIR will find more ways to maximize the purpose and usefulness of the mobile application. Nevertheless, this is a commendable initiative towards effecting administrative feasibility in the new normal.

Mel Basanal is an Associate I of the Tax Compliance and Advisory Division of P&A Grant Thornton Cebu Branch. P&A Grant Thornton is one of the leading audit, tax, advisory, and outsourcing firms in the Philippines with 22 Partners and more than 900 staff members. We’d like to hear from you! Tweet us: @GrantThorntonPH, like us on Facebook: P&A Grant Thornton, and email your comments to pagrantthornton@ph.gt.com. For more information, visit our website: www.grantthornton.com.ph

 

As published in Mindanao Times, dated 22 March 2021