For business owners, it is the time of the year to settle business tax payments. A very busy time, indeed, especially for bookkeeping agencies that facilitate filing and payment of business permits. One such agency, Greenpoint in Batangas City, processes the payment of up to 30 clients.
“I’ve run the business for eight years, and have been used to the process of submitting requirements to the Business Permits and Licensing Division, acquiring the amounts to be paid, informing our clients, and then settling the amounts,” said Greenpoint manager Ayreen Bobadilla. “We have to carry cash and pay at the city hall, and they usually don’t accept checks unless it’s a manager’s check.”
Greenpoint’s clients are micro, small, and medium entrepreneurs whose quarterly tax dues range from P1,000 to more than P20,000. There are times when she has asked her staff to take a six-figure amount to the city hall. Fearing the worst, Bobadilla has safety measures in place.
“I usually ask different people to take the money, and they usually travel by motorbike or car. No matter the amount, I can’t risk it because these came from my clients’ hard-earned money,” she said.
Safer and more secure transaction
While she hasn’t been robbed, Bobadilla still looks at other ways to pay business taxes securely. In the second quarter of this year, the local government of Batangas City launched mobile money, through GCash, as a payment option for business taxes.
Mobile money is defined as money stored in electronic value and can be used for sending money, paying bills, purchasing load and goods, among others.
Bobadilla grabbed this opportunity for her clients. “It is very convenient and less risky because we no longer have to line up at the city hall to pay, saving us the uneasiness of carrying big amounts of cash.”
USAID's SIMM project
This service allows citizens to assess their business tax and pay it using their phones through GCash. Opening a GCash account is easy and it’s free. Once payment is made, a confirmation message will be received containing the details of the transaction and a reference number. To claim the official receipt, payers only need to present this message at the city hall.
Enabled through the efforts of the U.S. Embassy Manila’s United States International Agency for Development (USAID) Scaling Innovations in Mobile Money (SIMM) Project, business tax payment is currently available to quarterly and non-delinquent payers in Batangas City and Valenzuela City.
The USAID SIMM Project has also piloted real property tax payment in Quezon City and Valenzuela City, and construction permit payment also in Valenzuela City. Visit www.facebook.com/Philippines.SIMM for more information on the uses of mobile money.