Tax payments made easy

HAVING trouble paying taxes? Fret no more, as paying taxes will be as easy as ordering your favorite brown sugar milk tea online. But before we dive into the details, a brief background is in order:

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has adopted the National Retail Payment System (NRPS) with the view of promoting the establishment of a safe, efficient and reliable retail payment system in the country. The NRPS is a policy and regulatory framework that aims to provide direction in carrying out retail payment activities through BSP-supervised financial institutions (BSFIs). How? By defining high-level policies, principles and standards, which, when adopted, would lead to the establishment of such a system.

The importance of the NRPS cannot be overemphasized, considering that it ensures the security of transactions and activities performed in the country’s retail payment system; reliability by making sure its operations are resilient during disruptive events; efficiency in retail payments, which can be supported by a shift to electronic payments (e-payments); and interoperability, or the situation where end-users are capable of transferring funds from one account to another. Thus, according to the BSP, one of the goals under the NRPS is to increase the adoption of electronic retail payments from 1 percent in 2013 to 20 percent by 2020.

The current Philippine market has shown mainly banks and electronic-money issuers — collectively called BSFIs — that provide e-payments to their customers. To facilitate e-payment transactions offered by BSFIs to its clients, the NRPS hosts several automated clearing houses. One of them is the Philippine EFT (electronic fund transfer) System and Operations Network (PESONet). According to the BSP website, PESONet is a batch EFT credit-payment scheme wherein fund transfers and/or payment instructions will be processed in bulk and cleared at batch intervals. Each payee will then receive the full value in his or her account within the same banking day, provided the payment instruction was sent within the cut-off time.

Recently, the Bureau of Internal Revenue issued Revenue Memorandum Circular (RMC) 81-2019, focusing on the availability of a BIR payment facility utilizing the PESOnet system under the NRPS. The facility will enable taxpayers with accounts in any BSFI in the PESONet payment system to pay their taxes online through the Link.Biz portal maintained by the Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank). The facility will initially be available to depositors of LandBank and Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC), but will eventually include other BSFIs.

Taxpayers using either eBIR Forms or the Electronic Filing and Payment System to file their returns and pay taxes may likewise use this new facility. Those interested may visit the LBP Link.Biz portal at for more details.

Ron Arriesgado is a tax lawyer, a transfer pricing specialist, and partner at the LMA Law Offices in Makati City. He has managed and resolved taxation issues of local and multinational entities; resolved various tax assessment cases issued by the Bureau of Internal Revenue; and provided clients with the proper tax strategies to cancel or substantially lower tax assessments, among others.




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