Unless you’ve been living under a rock, chances are, you have a Facebook account. With your Facebook account, it would be safe to assume that you derive from it a fair amount of news, current events, gossip, and a myriad of other useful (and useless) information. In fact, it is not odd for people to first hear about breaking news from Facebook and other social media platforms or sites like Twitter, than from the traditional daily broadsheets.
Such is the reality of how social media sites have shaped and influenced the way people receive information. And because these sites have the ability to reach a far greater audience at a much faster pace, businesses have joined the bandwagon and have created Facebook and Twitter accounts.
And it is not only businesses, but government agencies as well, that have harnessed the power of social media sites. Recently, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has recently issued Revenue Memorandum Order (RMO) No. 24-2018 relative to the utilization of social media sites by the BIR in disseminating information to taxpayers.
The BIR hopes that, though the use of social media sites, it can improve taxpayer awareness by providing information such as tax deadlines, new revenue issuances, new policies and guidelines, among others. The RMO also notes that the dissemination of updated and accurate information to taxpayers and other stakeholders will enhance voluntary tax compliance and will improve the BIR’s delivery of taxpayer services to the public.
To implement this policy, the BIR shall establish and maintain social media accounts for tax information dissemination in the following four social media sites, namely, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube, the links of which shall be available at the BIR Website (www.bir.gov.ph).
The Client Support Service (CSS) of the BIR shall be in charge of the over-all management of the BIR social media sites and shall direct and coordinate with the Public information and Education Division (PIED) in the responsible administration and management of such sites. To this end, the PIED shall ensure that the information posted in the BIR Social Media sites are consistent with the content posted in the BIR Website, or approved by the BIR Management Committee (MANCOM) for posting.
Specifically, the PIED shall prepare the following information/content for posting in the BIR social media sites:
Daily Tax Reminders
Monthly Tax Calendars
BIR Issuances (Revenue Regulations, Revenue Memorandum Circulars and selected Revenue Memorandum Orders)
Tax Campaign Videos
The RMO further notes that information posted in the BIR social media sites shall be free from political or ideological agenda or any statement inconsistent with the BIR’s policies. Moreover, the BIR will not use the platforms as a venue to divulge information regarding a taxpayer’s business, income, estate, or trade secrets, nor will it provide information covered by Republic Act No. 10173, otherwise known as the “Data PrivacyAct of 2012.”
Atty. Maria Louella “Peaches” Aranas is a seasoned tax lawyer and Managing Partner at LMA Law office. She is also at the forefront of The Sandy Project, a dengue awareness and prevention advocacy that she started in 2013.