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BIR Makes VAT Refunds Easier

Posted by on June 30th, 2023

In the Philippines, a sales tax known as value-added tax (VAT) is levied on commodities purchased, bartered, exchanged, or leased and imported products.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has reduced the standards taxpayers must meet to receive a VAT refund. In a revenue memorandum circular, BIR commissioner Romeo Lumagui ordered simplifying documentation requirements and procedures for submitting and processing VAT refund claims.

Lumagui believes that the BIR’s approach responds to taxpayer claimants needing help meeting previously stated evidentiary standards. According to Lumagui, BIR also supports the Ease of Doing Business Law, which strives to streamline government procedures and practices. It also intends to make all government transactions more efficient and effective.

The measure will be effective starting July 1.

According to the BIR instruction, the existing 30 documentary requirements would be reduced to a minimum of nine (9) and a maximum of seventeen (17).

Taxpayers no longer need to present soft copies of scanned sales invoices or official receipts to support their purchases and sales of goods and services. Instead, taxpayers obtaining a VAT refund must produce original copies of the documents.

According to the BIR, documents are no longer necessary if the revenue agency’s records can be utilized to confirm them. This can be accomplished by obtaining records from other BIR offices or utilizing current information tax systems. It also promised to streamline the processes for reviewing and processing VAT refund requests.


Louise Maureen Simeon. (2023, June 24). BIR simplifies VAT refunds.

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