The new Computer Assisted Audit Tools and Techniques System Laboratory of the Philippines’ Bureau of Internal Revenue has kicked off to further the drive to gain quality tax audit in the country.
The first CAATTS Laboratory was installed at the BIR central office in Manila. More computer audit workstations will be launched at the BIR’s regional offices in the Visayas and Mindanao locales in the upcoming months.
In her speech at the inaugural ceremony of the CAATTS Laboratory in late December, BIR Commissioner Kim Jacinto-Henares said that with the new laboratory, “the BIR would be able to audit more files, and thereby strengthen its audit findings.”
With the project, the BIR targets the improvement of the accuracy and efficiency of its tax audit system, as well as the performance of its revenue officers.
The CAATTS Laboratory’s database will expand as the project progresses. The information collected will be used by the BIR as “a second layer of third party information that BIR examiners can use to further revalidate business transaction representations of other taxpayers.”
BIR revenue officers from its Revenue District Offices will also be trained in conducting computer audit using the CAATTS Laboratory.
The first objective of the CAATTS Laboratory is to finish the audit of tax liabilities of conglomerates for 2009.
Under the initiative, a simultaneous audit of conglomerates or interrelated companies will be held, instead of individualized tax audits to better detect tax avoidance and tax evasion schemes.
Commissioner Jacinto-Henares told FutureGov Asia Pacific that the new CAATTS Laboratory is just a portion of the BIR’s program to improve the tax system in the country.
In the future, the department plans to put its tax data online to make the information easily accessible to taxpayers, regardless of location.
The Commissioner emphasized the usefulness of ICT in tax administration.
“It is easier to check data in the computer system, instead of doing it manually,” she said.
In addition, with the use of ICTs, more types of revenue-relevant data are available for study. The data collected could also be used more effectively with the analytical capability of computers.
With these initiatives being done by the BIR, the Commissioner hoped that taxpayers in the Philippines will realize that her administration’s thrust is “not just business as usual,” but that they are serious in changing the tax system in the country for the better.
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