MANILA – Malacañang on Thursday expressed confidence that the government’s tax collection target remains attainable, despite the extension of the deadline for the filing of income tax returns as the country grapples with the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
This, after Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo confirmed that the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has extended the deadline for the filing of the 2019 Annual Income Tax Returns (AITRs) from April 15 to May 15 sans the imposition of penalties.
Panelo was hopeful that taxpayers would also do their part by paying the right taxes to the government.
“While the Office of the President is confident that our revenue officers would still be able to meet their tax collection targets, it also calls on everyone to do their patriotic duty of paying their taxes faithfully, once the situation enables them,” he said in a press statement.
The BIR earlier set its target collection of PHP2.5 trillion for 2020.
The BIR extended the filing of AITRs following the plea of some senators, including President Rodrigo Duterte’s former long-time aide and now Senator Christopher Lawrence Go.
In a memorandum circular signed Wednesday, BIR Commissioner Caesar Dulay announced that the filing and payment of AITRs for 2019 is extended to May without the imposition of penalties to taxpayers.
“Further, taxpayers may file and pay the corresponding taxes due thereon to any Authorized Bank Agents nearest to the location of the taxpayer or to any Revenue Collection Officer under the Revenue District Office (file and pay everywhere),” the memorandum circular read.
Panelo said the one-month extension would give Filipino taxpayers more time to prepare the requirements needed in their tax filing.
He said the government understands the taxpayers’ plight, considering that there are “extraordinary conditions” that presently beset the country amid its campaign against the further spread of Covid-19.
Panelo said taxpayers who prepared early and are already ready to file their tax returns may resort to online filing.
“Given that taxation is the lifeblood of our country and is used to, among others, support our government such as in times of crisis, our receipt of tax payments from those who are able (should their locations and surrounding circumstances allow) is vital,” he said.
The latest move was made after President Rodrigo Duterte placed the entire Luzon under “enhanced” community quarantine, which requires Filipinos to observe strict home quarantine and limit their movement to accessing basic needs.
Most work and all mass public transportation are also suspended during the month-long community quarantine in Luzon. (PNA)