Philippine Tax Academy set up in 2018: Will BIR, Customs be better collectors?

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Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez speaks at a conference in Tokyo in this Reuters file photo.

MANILA – The Departments of Finance (DOF) and of Budget and Management (DBM) are now finalizing the establishment of a Philippine Tax Academy next year at the University of Makati (UMak) to provide revenue and customs authorities a learning institution. The end goal: so they can continually hone their tax collection competence and efficiency.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said Republic Act 10143, signed into law almost seven years ago during the 14th Congress, enables the DOF to set up the Tax Academy to provide continuous training and education to personnel of the Bureaus of Internal Revenue (BIR), of Customs (BOC) and of Local Government Finance (BLGF).

“We found that there is a law that was passed maybe 10 years ago that allows the Department of Finance to put up a tax academy, so we are going to implement that next year,” Dominguez said.

Dominguez said the DOF plans to offer courses at the Academy inside the UMaK campus starting January 2018.

In his report to Dominguez during a recent Executive Committee meeting, DOF Undersecretary Gil Beltran said the BOC, which has signified its intent to join the would-be Academy, has already submitted its comments on the draft Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of RA 10143.

Beltran said the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has expressed its intent to assist the DOF and its attached revenue agencies in identifying the training programs to be offered at the Tax Academy.

Dominguez said a proposal by BOC Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon to set up a Customs Academy would be tied up with the Philippine Tax Academy that will be operational by next year at the UMak.

“We are already in consultation with the University of Makati to locate initially our campus there,” Dominguez said.

Other Asian countries such as Japan, China, India, Australia, Singapore and Malaysia have tax academies which train both tax and customs authorities, as well as private individuals in taxation and finance assessment and management.

Under RA 10143, the Tax Academy “shall develop and implement a curriculum which includes those pertaining to: (a) the technical aspects of tax collection, administration and compliance; and (b) the career orientation and development for civil servants.”

The Tax Academy will be set up as a corporate body and will also accept for training selected applicants from the private sector.

The Board of Trustees of the Academy includes representatives from the DOF, BIR, BOC, BLGF and three representatives from the academe with at least five years of teaching experience in reputable schools.

The Philippine Tax Academy is authorized under the law to enter into consortium agreements and joint venture agreements with the University of the Philippines, public and private universities and training institutions “for the development and implementation of the curriculum, programs for orientation, career development and continuing education in tax collection, auditing, administration and compliance.”