Industry

This Messenger Bot Reminds You When Your Taxes Are Due

Having trouble keeping track?
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Freelancers and solo entrepreneurs would know—tax payments can suck the fun out of the career you’re building. Aside from living with the possibility that our taxes just go to corrupt officials, the whole process of tax payments itself is a pain. What more if you find yourself drowning in penalties just because you know nothing about the whole process?

Such was the case for Jacqueline See, a former media practitioner, who paid a hefty penalty to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) due to late payments. To help others avoid the same predicament, See has been leading tax classes to help freelancers and non-value added tax (VAT) payers to better understand the system through her Make Sense of Taxes Facebook page.

“I got into penalty troubles with the BIR in 2014. When I got out of that painful mess, I really read up on taxes and reminded friends about [tax payment] deadlines,” she shared. “Some friends ‘commissioned’ me to do a class explaining all the different taxes and deadlines. We’ve come to be a community of sorts.”

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Still, See thought she could do more for the community if she can better remind them about tax payments and in turn avoid penalties altogether. So this year, she launched a Messenger bot called #TaxReminderBot. “I built the bot to better remind taxpayers to file and pay their taxes on time. I’ve been posting these [reminders] on our Make Sense of Taxes page on Facebook, but I think a timely Messenger direct message would do a better job,” she said.

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The bot reminds anyone who subscribes to it the due dates of registration, income, and percentage tax payments. Registration tax payment’s deadline is always on the last day of January, while income and percentage tax payments are due for every 15th and 25th day of the month respectively.

With all those dates to remember, it’s not surprising how most totally forget about tax payments and easily incur penalties. Worse, some just work without paying any taxes altogether due to the discouragingly painful and complicated process behind tax payments. But that’s for another story.

Aside from reminders on deadlines, the bot also shares tax stories and tax class announcements that each user can attend for a fee. 

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About The Author
Elyssa Christine Lopez
Elyssa Christine Lopez is a staff writer of Esquire. Follow her on Twitter @elyssalopz
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