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.