BIR Invites IT Enthusiasts to Participate in Hackatax Challenge
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) launched a competition dubbed “Hackatax” meant for the creation of a convenient mobile taxpayer service to streamline the current procedure for registration, filing, and payment of taxes. BIR launched the competition on October 16, 2019. Also known as “#HACKATAXPH”, it is the first tax innovation challenge hosted by the taxing authority and supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Developers Connect Philippines (DEVCONPH) organization.
According to the BIR, the objective of the Hackatax is to “address current taxpayer pain points” by creating a simplified tax filing process. The challenge of this competition involves simplifying BIR forms and tax returns, create a smooth-running registration, filing, and payment process, and serve the needs of the Filipino taxpayers.
Details of the Hackatax Challenge
While the purpose of the program is similar to a hackathon, Hackatax also highlights the talents and skills of different IT professionals, start-ups, and students in the Philippines to provide the BIR by creating innovative solutions for them. BIR invites individual developers and students while organizing them into teams to participate in Hackatax. They also encourage teams of professionals to take in students as team members.
As individual IT developers or students from different colleges and universities, they can assist BIR in developing an application meant for improving BIR’s electronic services and digital filing and payment of taxes. The participating teams will own, maintain, operate, and market their creations. Teams awarded by the BIR will receive support from them as they launch the solution in 2020.
BIR invites all aspiring participants to submit their proposals from October 15 until November 15, 2019. They will also announce the finalists of the Hackatax challenge on November 22, 2019, and the Bootcamp and finals pitching for the finalists will happen on January 2020.
Finalists will receive a cash prize of up to Php 500,000, support from the BIR as they implement the tax software together with a BIR TSP (Tax Software Provider) Certification, and benefits such as free credits or licenses, incubation with the leading Tech Startup Incubation Program, and other perks.