During the lockdown, more than half of MSMEs in the country fully stopped or closed their operations while more than 20% permanently shut down or closed their businesses due to COVID-19 pandemic. From a health crisis, it has resulted in an unprecedented economic crisis not just in the Philippines but around the world. 

With 99.52 percent of business establishments classified as MSMEs, the government through the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) immediately extended help including an initial P1 Billion financial assistance to help MSMEs – 88.45 percent are micro businesses, 10.58 percent are small, and 0.49 percent are medium. 

In the midst of COVID-19 pandemic, registration surged from 5,000 to 70,000 new businesses which are mostly online businesses. However, less than 10% registered with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) despite the issuance of RMC 60-2020 reminding all online sellers, influencers and digital platforms to register with BIR without imposing any penalty until September 30 as extended by RMC 92-2020.

Improving the ease of doing business and prioritizing strategic reforms including our proposed economic tax relief for small businesses are some of the government interventions which are much needed during this COVID-19 pandemic. From streamlining government processes and requirements to automation, the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) has consistently reminded all government agencies both national and local to make sure they don’t cause unnecessary delay on any request or application in their respective agencies. 

Resilience is no longer enough to survive. Digital transformation is key to thrive under the new normal – both for the government and business enterprises. While some have successfully adapted and learned to pivot their business or agency, others have remained skeptic and less trusting especially with the government requiring small online businesses to register and the proposed digital taxation which will result in 12% VAT being imposed on subscription and online transactions. 

There seems to be a lack of trust and information. 

10 years advocating for strategic reforms on ease of doing business, entrepreneurship and paying taxes, CSR Philippines was founded to promote collaboration between government and business sector. As the advocacy partner of DTI, BIR and ARTA, CSR Philippines in partnership with the Asian Consulting Group (ACG) officially launched the TaxWhizPH Digital Solutions which will provide free access to correct information and promote tax awareness among our MSMES including online sellers through its mobile app, youtube channel and online academy. And it’s all free to our micro businesses including DTI mentees! 

Everyone can download the mobile app and avail of the unlichat to ask their tax questions anytime, anywhere! They can subscribe and watch weekly episodes of everything about taxes to help them avoid penalties and problems with the BIR. To learn more about taxes, they can enroll and attend online courses from registration to compliance and BIR audit.

Empowering MSMEs has always been at the core of our advocacy and through digital solutions we can reach more MSMEs not just in the Philippines but also our overseas Filipinos around the world. On September 21, we will celebrate 10 years of promoting tax awareness and helping taxpayers pay the right taxes which led to the establishment of the Philippines’ first tax hub – ACG. 

Asian Consulting Group (ACG) has always been at the forefront of advocating for a genuine tax reform – a simple, fair and efficient tax system, since it was founded in 2011. As the Philippines’ first tax hub for top corporations, SMEs and celebrities in the Asia-Pacific region, ACG provides strategic and technology-driven solutions to fix tax problems even during a crisis. 

Our commitment is to help you stay out of trouble with the BIR so you can focus on your business in creating value.

As Benjamin Franklin said, “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” We cannot help you avoid death, but we can help you fix your taxes with honor and integrity.

Whether you want to grow your business locally or expand globally, ACG will be with you every step of the way to build your empire while contributing to nation building through the taxes you pay. Visit www.acg.ph for more information. 

We would like to extend our invitation to all our partners and friends to join us on September 21 via zoom. RSVP using the QR code.