With every dollar in revenue needed to keep essential government agencies open and in recognition of the ongoing health risks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Senator Régine Biscoe Lee is proposing to require the electronic filing of business privilege taxes (BPT).
Bill No. 370-35 (COR), co-sponsored by Senators Sabina Perez and Clynt Ridgell, provides for this upgrade to the island’s current e-filing policy. The legislation was discussed in a reconvened public hearing Monday.
“During this COVID-19 emergency, moving government services online makes sense for the health of our community. By making this change to how BPT is filed, we can also help businesses save precious time and resources, while further improving tax collections during a depressed economic period and beyond,” Senator Lee said.
The ongoing pandemic must be met with continued efforts to support social distancing. Mandating the electronic filing of Business Privilege Taxes will help reduce crowding at the Department of Revenue and Taxation (DRT), and will lessen in-person contact between employees and customers.
DRT Director Dafne Mansapit-Shimizu testified favorably on the measure but requested more time to implement the reforms and public notice provisions.
“We support all efforts that facilitate use of adaptive technologies to streamline payments and processes here at the Department, especially the health emergency work environment we have today,” Director Mansapit-Shimizu said.
Bill 370 still allows for the option of in-person payments of BPT at the Treasurer of Guam.