‘Hack-A-Tax’ contest now accepting entries

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Asia Consulting Group (ACG), Developers Connect Philippines (DevCon), and Media.Xchange through the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) are calling developers to build an app that would address specific pain points in the Philippine tax processes.

Called “Hack-A-Tax” developers need to pitch their concept or ideas on or before Nov. 20.  The announcement of the 10 finalists is on Nov. 22.

“Don’t limit your ideas on the problem of tax filing,” explained Mon Abrea, a longtime tax advocate and founding chair of ACG. “The solution can focus on at least one process in the tax process in the country. It could be a solution to speeding up the BIR application or acquiring a TIN ID.”

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“Interested developers need to identify a tax-related pain point and submit a one-page and video elevator pitch on or before Nov. 20,” explained Winston Damarillo, founder of DevCon Philippines. “The 10 finalists will move on to the next round where it involves the app development and will receive mentoring from our partners.”

Abrea explained that participants will not only get assistance on the app development process but also on how to monetize through sessions on entrepreneurship and intellectual property rights.

“We want to increase the Philippine government’s IT capabilities through this partnership with BIR,” Damarillo said. “We hope to make BIR accessible to the people through an easy mobile or web application.”

Hack-A-Tax hopes to bring people with different disciplines together and collaborate to come up with a solution that would serve Filipinos. Participants can build a team of developers, accountants, and tax law experts. Students can join professionals and vise versa.

The finalists will continue on the next round which will start in January 2020. There will be webinars on how they can proceed with the app development. The app should be ready by March or just before the tax filing schedule.

BIR is undergoing digital transformation and “Hack-A-Tax” is one of its initiatives.

Interested parties can go to http://www.hackatax.ph/ to download forms and for more details.

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