From over hundreds of entries received for Hack-A-Tax Philippines, an innovation challenge to improve tax services launched in November last year, the most innovative proposals have been selected to complete the top 20 finalists. The Hack-a-Tax Bootcamp gathered the 20 shortlisted candidates coming from different regions across the Philippines. The teams were a mix of students and IT professionals who took the time to submit one-of-a-kind solutions to help improve taxpayer experience and transactions.
The top 20 finalists are: 1) Tax Aide (Northern Luzon); 2) Wyvern Innovations-Onnet (Metro Manila); 3) Yashua BIR-Men (Mindanao); 4) STI College-Novaliches (Metro Manila); 5) Nex Team (Metro Manila); 6) BIR Mini App-Gorated (Metro Manila); 7) Digitax (Metro Manila); 8) Taxccelerate (Mindanao); 9. Team Virtualandes (Visayas); 10. Tax Office (Metro Manila); 11. Team Artax (Metro Manila); 12) Third Channel (Metro Manila); 13) ECTAX (Southern Luzon); 14) eConnectors; 15) Tax I.T.; 16) Tax Heroes (Southern Luzon); 16) Tax Heroes (Southern Luzon); 17) eKasilicon (Metro Manila); 18) Juan Pos (Mindanao); 19. BIzz App (Southern Luzon); 20) Easy Tax v1.0 (Metro Manila).
The entries have been evaluated by a panel of tax and IT experts headed by executives from the Operations Group and Information Systems Group of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and industry leaders from the private sector. Categories of the 20 finalists include Accounting and Bookkeeping System, Taxpayer Registration System, Tax Filing and Payment System
E-receipting and E-invoicing System and Point-of-Sale System. Proposals were judged based on relevance to the challenge or responsiveness of the proposed solution to the problem, impact or the potential contribution to serve taxpayers, technical innovation or creativity to address the problem and quality of proposal or clarity and cohesiveness of materials presented.
“With increasing number of challenges that our tax administration is facing today, it is gratifying and heartwarming to see students and young professionals genuinely passionate about helping the government in improving its services to the citizens. We are immensely grateful for all your efforts,” shares Atty. Lanee Cui-David, BIR Deputy Commissioner of the Information System Group.
The 20 finalists will be participating in a series of mentoring and technical sessions to complete their system development and testing in consultation with the BIR and other innovation partners such as Microsoft Philippines, PayMaya, Amazon Web Services, PAGCOR, Talino Venture Lab, and Pencilstate Design among others. The candidates will also be part of a community immersion called “Dev4Dev Code Camp + Solutions Building Hackathon” on February 15 to 22 in Bukidnon, Mindanao. Final pitching and announcement of winners will be on February 29, 2020.
All top three winners will get a six-month mentorship from industry leaders, free cloud credits from sponsors, BIR-accredited platform plus a cash prize of Php300,000 for the first placer; Php200,000 for the 2nd placer; and Php100,000 for the 3rd placer. The teams will own their respective solutions that will be developed from the #HACKATAXPH Challenge. Organizers and partners will have no intellectual property (IP) share or interest in any product or solution from the competition.
In addressing taxpayers’ pain points including paper works and multiple steps for tax compliance, the BIR, in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and DEVCON, launched the Hack-A-Tax Challengeaimed at promoting simpler, efficient, and serviceable digital tax services for micro and small businesses. The competition invited 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.