16 April 2007

A pretty quick BIR moment

I WAS pleasantly surprised with how fast I took me to file my income tax return at the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) district office, which is about a hundred meters away from city hall. In about 15 minutes or so, it was all over, notwithstanding the fact that today is the last filing day.

Ordinarily, one has to contend with the so-Filipino habit of doing everything at the last minute, which easily translates into hundreds of warm bodies that can be packed like sardines in that BIR office.

My experience last year was just like that, when I had to wait for more than an hour and patiently suffer through selfish efforts of some filers to get ahead of the line, no thanks to callous people who accommodates hand-ins from others. Today, there were none of those, as clients patiently waited for their turn.

The BIR staff were also very professional. The management, I think, put up more people and tables in strategic locations -- particularly at the city center -- which will accommodate the rush of deadline-beating taxpayers. It should explain why the volume early this afternoon was visibly thinner than last year's.

Now, if only the BIR will start allowing filing of electronic ITRs in the coming years; that certainly will be more convenient, particularly for 'wired' individuals like myself.