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BIR’s Online Filing System Can’t Be Used By Half of Computers in PH


Shouldn’t government make things easier for everyone?

Tomorrow is the deadline for the income tax filing set by the Bureau of Internal Revenue and many people who are unable to hit the deadline set are taking their chances with the bureau’s online filing system which currently has a filing deadline until June 15. Unfortunately, the system that the BIR uses to take eBIRForms are laughably ancient, and according to data gathered by GMA News, is incompatible with half of the computers in the Philippines.

BIR’s eFPS site is stated to be compatible only on PCs running Windows Vista, 7 or higher. If you’re running a Mac or a Linux machine (or are browsing the site via a phone or tablet) you may also get compatibility errors. Oh yeah, the website loads really, really slow, and looks like it was designed when GeoCities was still a thing.

The thing is, only 53% of all operating systems in computers in the Philippines use Windows Vista or higher, according to StatCounter, a research firm that specializes on web browsing data around the world. Of course BIR Commissioner Kim Henares has an answer for that – “Pumunta na lang siguro sila sa Internet cafe. Kasi ang karamihan (ng tao) ay may Windows,” she said.

In our opinion, that’s the wrong way to go about things. Not only does that flippant reply show just how completely out of touch with reality she really is, it also shows a blatant disregard for a taxpayer’s security. Internet cafes aren’t the most secure places to access sensitive personal information (just ask anybody whose Facebook account has been hacked right after logging into one) and for many pinoys nowadays, accessing the internet is possible only via the device they hold in their hands – their phone.

If the comissioner really wants more people to pay their taxes on time, maybe the BIR should start spending more on IT infrastructure and making paying taxes as painless as possible? Maybe use just a wee bit of that money that we hand over to the government every year? Just a thought.


John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.


  1. Website overhaul. And one more thing. Ms. BIR Commisioner should try filing her taxes in an internet cafe so she’d know how unsecure it is to do.

  2. i agree that their website looks and feels made by amateurs. magkano ba yung budget nila para dun? at anong company ang gumawa? mas maganda pa mga ibang thesis ng IT students.

  3. Ang tatalino ng mga Pilipino, bakit di nila magawan ng paraan na mas madaling magbayad ng taxes. Pwede siguro, thru credit cards, debit cards para pwede magbayad on line via website of different banks or thru Bayad Centers, kung i bawas na lang sa load ng cellphones kung maliit lang or thru billings ng cellphone at telecoms, o diba, dapat maraming choices para mas convenient ang tao na magbayad…pls BIR..listen..if you have ears and read if you have eyes…

    1. Subukan mo magbayad ng 500k sa credit card. Ammpp! Isip isip din. Ok suggestion mo kung maliit lang babayaran mo. Pero kapag business na paying huge taxes di pwede yan.

      1. kaya nga may choice ka, syempre kung big company ka, diretso ka na sa bank at syempre may accountant ka ano. ang sinasabi ko para sa karaniwang tax payer na maliit lang naman ang babayaran, para ma encourage silang magbayad at malaki rin yan kung maiipon at less hassle sa tax payer,

  4. Bad move for the BIR. If they are spending for a tax filing system, they should’ve also choose to spend for it’s compatibility to cater different user. Or did they just cut the budget for that feature.. LOL! Henares doesn’t realize how dangerous it is to file your tax in internet cafes, you are about to expose sensitive information. especially that windows have it’s vulnerability.

    1. This just shows how clueless the government is about what IT (and for that matter every subject under comp. sci) means. It also says something about the culture of the country and its attitude towards the field; namely, that it greatly underestimates its sheer complexity, massive breadth, and extensive consequences. Not to say there aren’t people here that now what they’re doing (there has to be at least a few CCIEs or Oracle DBA 11g Masters here and there), but the vast majority are just going through the college of their choice hoping to make a killing, or so they think, in what they think is a lucrative field. They finish with meaningless scraps of paper that might get them a job, but without the actual skills they need to do anything that matters beyond warming the seats of their cubicles, leaving the people who know what they’re doing (all 1 or 2 of them in the entire company) to pick up the slack.

      If they hired proper web developers, DBAs, network people, and the like, these “difficulties” would be mere bullshit. There’s a reason Fortune 500 companies mainly use *nix based systems for all mission-critical (and even non) systems. MS is great for home users and “business professionals” who think Word is the pinnacle of achievement and success; for everyone else with at least half a brain, the forced dependencies alone are bullshit incarnate. And these guys are clearly having trouble with their most basic SQL functions.

      Plus, like several people here have already mentioned: seriously, doing anything with extremely personal, sensitive information in a public and inherently insecure (easily compromised) place like a net cafe? This… I don’t even… ugh. In a world where privacy and security are already critically important and increasingly more paramount, you have clueless idiots in charge declaring their level of utter stupidity by suggesting the very things everyone should be avoiding. Oh, lawd. This level of facepalm I swear is enough to summon a quantum singularity.

  5. Filing sensitive info. in cafe is not a preferable option, it should be done directly to the office.

    And if you are smart enough to do that on cafe’s, you could do that. It is economical though to process instead of having that priority numbers / waiting for your number to be called on. (y)

  6. For a country with Samsung Notes in the ready to almost everyone, they couldn’t make a simple APP at all, better yet a WEBSITE that works.

  7. They should make it platform agnostic, cloud based platform will run on most/any browser if properly coded.

    And note that the article above makes it appear that the deadline is June 15 if you file electronically. The deadline is still April 15, you will have to file your returns manually by April 15 and refile it again electronic by June 15.

  8. ang problema sa pinoy sa deadline kasi lagi mahilig sumabay, tapos pag mabagal, puro reklamo. at ang sinasabi niyo na mag invest sa IT, TAKE NOTE, budgeted ang funds ng government. kung ang nilaan lang sa BIR ay pambili ng toyota Vios, kahit gusto nila bumili ng Ferrari na mabilis hindi kaya.

    1. ang problema kase, pag kumuha ako ng grupo ng limang IT students at binayaran ng tig 200, mas maganda pa sa site na yan ang magagawa

    2. sham, I’m sorry but you are a complete idiot. Rik there just showed you why.

      I know that since you work for the government you just gotta pass the blame on, but the real “problema sa pinoy” is a lax attitude toward everything and a prime instinct to generate endless excuses instead of TAKING STEPS TO MAKE SURE NO ONE CAN MAKE EXCUSES IN THE FIRST PLACE. sham, you and your buddies are guilty of the very thing you’re accusing the public (who have a right to complain, irresponsible themselves as they may be). If you idiots had done this right in the first place, people wouldn’t be able to make those excuses; and they will by default because it’s human nature. The last thing you wanted to do was give them free passes to legitimately bitch about your BS.

  9. This is just disappointing. As an IT graduate, nothing disappoints me more than government entities that fail to embrace how lifechanging these simple things can be for people when done properly. Really poor governance, management of funds, and poor minds of the people seated in BIR.

    Really disappointing.

  10. ang punot dulo ng problemang to? MICROSOFT..
    kung alam nyo lang gano kahirap paganahin yan. .NET na mismong produkto ng microsoft, di gumagana sa lahat ng IE. aba eh magaling.. kelangan din iconsider yung OS pag magdedesign.. sowss.. sakit sa ulo..

    1. As much as I dislike Microsoft (and I really do), it’s not like there weren’t easier, LESS EXPENSIVE (or even free and even fuller-featured) options available that were free of debilitating dependencies. So no, you don’t get to blame MS for this unless you want to say that Redmond bought out the government and forced them to use their software.

  11. Do they have an App for that? If there is, there’s no question it only runs on Symbian, PalmOS and mobile OS’s of yesteryear.

  12. “Philippine IT grads” are the sort that make Donald Kneuth cry. Almost no one can code properly if their life depended on it, since any lack of skill is just another bayaran or line of BS (of the non-degree kind) away. Apparently the statement that less than 15% of comp sci grads actually know anything about CS is true (hint: if coding in C++ or even Perl and Python is not something you actually enjoy doing all day and in your spare time, you should reconsider your major; this field is full of nothing but mere powerusers or script kiddies that think they know comp sci).

  13. it could run in xp. have you tried it? browser based naman ito bakit naging issue ang OS? as long as may IE6 ka and up for other OS they can use chrome or firefox.

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