MANILA – The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has extended the deadline for the filing of the 2019 annual Income Tax Returns (ITRs) by a month to May 15, 2020.
But the agency said those who are ready to file their ITRs on or before the original April 15 deadline are advised to do so in order to help the Duterte administration raise enough funds for the scaled-up national efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
Based on Revenue Memorandum Circular (RMC) dated March 18 and signed by BIR Commissioner Caesar Dulay, this one-month extension for income tax filing and payments has been granted without the imposition of penalties to taxpayers.
This emergency measure is being offered to provide relief to Filipino taxpayers who will not be able to prepare, let alone file, the necessary ITR documents on or before the original annual deadline of April 15 because of skeletal workforce arrangements and enhanced community quarantine rules that the national government has implemented to contain the pandemic.
An unintended result of the deadline extension is an estimated delay and shortfall in tax collections of around PHP145 billion, which may have to be covered by additional borrowings by the national government.
The government is thus appealing to those who are able to file within the deadline or even as early as now to do so through mechanisms that have been made available by the BIR, including online filing and payment platforms.
These tax payments are crucial for the government to fund extremely urgent social protection and emergency health measures meant to effectively combat Covid-19 as well as to sustain state investments needed to help Filipino families regain stable and reliable sources of income at the soonest possible time.
There are more than 100 days between the start of the year and the original tax filing deadline of April 15 to prepare tax filing materials.
Some taxpayers have prepared for this early. Those who are or will soon be ready are requested to file and contribute to the government’s efforts to fight Covid-19 and stimulate economic activity amid a possible growth slowdown.
On behalf of the Filipino people, the Duterte administration expresses its gratitude to those who will perform their patriotic duty.
Sen. Bong Go’s appeal
Meanwhile, Senator Christopher Go earlier appealed to the President Rodrigo R. Duterte and Department of Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III to extend the deadline for the filing of the Income Tax Returns in recognition of the primordial importance of safeguarding the health and lives of the people.
Go said the appeal was based on his discussions with colleagues in the Senate, particularly Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Majority Leader Migz Zubiri, Senators Imee Marcos, Francis Tolentino, Pia Cayetano, Joel Villanueva, Bato dela Rosa, Nancy Binay, Bong Revilla and Panfilo Lacson, who all raised concerns on the impact of the COVID-19 situation on Filipinos trying to meet the tax deadline.
This will give our people a chance to focus on their safety and the welfare of their family at this crucial time. After we overcome this health situation, we trust that they will faithfully fulfill their tax obligations, he said.
“Sa panahong katulad nito, dapat nagtutulungan tayo na mapagaan ang pasakit ng taumbayan. Magmalasakit po tayo sa bawat Pilipinong apektado at magbayanihan tayo para malampasan natin ang pagsubok na ito bilang isang nagkakaisang bansa (In times like these, we should help each other to ease the burden of the public. Let’s be compassionate to all affected sectors and join hands to help during these trying times),” he added.
In a previous revenue memorandum circular, the BIR had announced that taxpayers who are enrolled in the Electronic Filing and Payment System (EFPS) may settle their tax liabilities with the respective Authorized Agent Banks (AABs) where they are enrolled, while the following payment options are available for those who shall file their AITR through the EBIRForm Facility:
Over-the-Counter (OTC) payment through AABs;
Revenue Collection Offices (RCOs) in areas where there are no AABs;
Electronic/online payment through:
Land Bank of the Philippines’ (LBP) Link.Ziz Portal (for taxpayers who have an ATM account with LBP, holders of Bancnet ATM/Debit/Prepaid Cards or taxpayers utilizing the PesoNet facility, such as depositors of RCBC and Robinsons Bank);
Development Bank of the Philippines’ (DBP) Pay Tax Online (for holders of Visa/Mastercard Credit Cards and/or Bancnet ATM/Debit Cards);
Union Bank Online Web and Mobile Phone Payment Facility (for taxpayers who have an account with Union Bank of the Philippines); and
Mobile Payment (GCash/Paymaya). (PNA/PR)