BIR Update: BIR regulates use of E-Signature on certain types of BIR Forms/Certificates - Atty. Gilbert P. Aslor - Licensed Tax and Corporate Lawyer in Makati, Philippines

BIR Update: BIR regulates use of E-Signature on certain types of BIR Forms/Certificates

The use of e-signature for commercial transactions has been long recognized in the Philippines under Republic Act No. 8792 (e-Commerce Act of 2000). Under Section 5(e) of R.A. 8792, an e-signature was defined “as any distinctive mark, characteristic and/or sound in electronic form, representing the identity of a person and attached to or logically associated with the electronic data message or electronic document or any methodology or procedures employed or adopted by a person and executed or adopted by such person with the intention of authenticating or approving an electronic data message or electronic document.”

In line with this,  the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) issued Revenue Memorandum Circular (RMC) No. 29-2021 recognizing the validity of e-signature and setting the policies and guidelines for its use on the following types of BIR Forms, namely:

  1. BIR Form No. 2304 – Certificate of Income Payment Not Subject to Withholding Tax (Excluding Compensation Income);
  2. BIR Form No. 2306 – Certificate of Final Tax Withheld at Source;
  3. BIR Form No. 2307 – Certificate of Creditable Tax Withheld at Source; and
  4. BIR Form No. 2316 – Certificate of Compensation Payment/Tax Withheld.

Persons allowed to use e-signature

The withholding agent or his duly authorized representative who issues the BIR Form/Certificates (BIR Form Nos. 2304, 2306, 2307, and 2316) have the option to use e-signature, aside from the manual signature, on such BIR Form/Certificates. The e-signature serves as the functional equivalent of his/her manual or signature on the said Form/Certificate.

The Form/Certificate shall also contain the manual signature or e-signature of the payee to be valid and binding. The e-signature serves as the functional equivalent of his/her manual or signature on the said Form/Certificate.

In case the withholding agent opts to use an e-signature, BIR’s approval is no longer necessary.

Available presumptions when an e-signature is used

BIR Forms/Certificates signed using e-signature gives rise to the following presumptions:

  1. The e- signature is that of the person to whom it correlates; 
  2. The person who affixed the e-signature has the intention to authenticate or approve the electronic document to which it is related or to indicate consent to the transaction embodied therein; 
  3. The methods or processes utilized to affix or verify the e-Signature operated are without error or fault.

Formalities of the use of the Form/Certificates with e-signature

The Form/Certificate to be issued or affixed with e-signature should be the exact replica or copy of the latest version officially printed by the BlR. If BIR makes a revision or change in the Form/certificate (e.g. change in version date, size, etc,), the revised Form/Certificate shall be used.

The withholding agent shall make sure that the Form/Certificate with e-signature shall only be issued once. ln case of re-issuance or the payee requested for another copy of the Form/Certificate after giving the original copy, the re-issued Form/Certificate should contain a “RE-PRINT” watermark in cambria font and size of 144.

Criminal, Civil or Administrative Liability in case of falsity or misrepresentation

ln case of falsity or any misrepresentations contained in the issued Form/Certificate, those responsible therefore shall be held criminally, civilly, and administratively liable pursuant to the provisions of the Tax Code of 1997, as amended, the Revised Penal Code, and other applicable laws. Under Section 253 of the Tax Code of 1997, as amended, in the case of associations, partnerships, or corporations, the penalty shall be imposed on the Partner, President, General Manager, Treasurer, Officer-in-Charge, and employees responsible for the violation.

For more information you may contact Atty. GPA

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