PH Startup Week gathers tech and tax innovators for Hack-A-Tax challenge

As one of the events at the recently held Philippine Startup Week, tech experts and tax advocates gathered to discuss innovation in the talk titled “Inclusion Fusion – Innovation x Impact Night.”

The event also brought together some of the country’s innovative minds to talk about Hack-A-Tax Philippines, an innovation challenge to improve tax services, headed by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and co-organized by Developers Connect Philippines (DEVCON).

BIR Commissioner Caesar Dulay’s keynote speech highlighted the pain points that taxpayers, most especially the micro and small and medium enterprises (MSEs), experience when registering for tax services.

Have you read “‘Hack-A-Tax’ contest now accepting entries”?

“Hack-A-tax is a way of making paying taxes inclusive by leveraging technology,” as cited in Commissioner Dulay’s speech delivered by Atty. Lanee Cui-David, BIR Deputy Commissioner of the Information System Group.

Tax process

During the first panel discussion, Cui-David noted that improving registration, filing, and payment processes are the main focus of the BIR when it comes to digital transformation.

In the second panel discussion, industry leaders tackled challenges concerning financial inclusion. Jingle Perreras, vice-chair and Management Senior Advisor of the Center for Agriculture and Rural Development (CARD) opened the discussion by citing that manual bank transactions can also be intimidating.

“The majority of our clients are graduates of primary schools, and they are intimidated by going to a bank,” said Perreras. “We decided that going digital helps address this. We have partnered with ASENSO in order to reach out to more of our marginalized brothers and sisters in the community.”

Hacka-A-Tax Philippines invites individual developers, IT students and professionals to produce the best software that will enable a more convenient and favorable process for taxpayers to complete their tasks at BIR, which include tax registration, TIN application, tax filing, and payments, among others. The competition was launched last October 15, 2019 with a month-long submission period for tax solution proposals and entries. The deadline for submission for the Hack-A-Tax challenge has been moved to today at 11:59 p.m. More details and mechanics regarding Hack-A-Tax can be found on its official website. For inquiries, email

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