MANILA, Philippines – Senator Nancy Binay on Wednesday called on the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Department of Finance (DOF) to reconsider their decision not to extend the April 15 deadline for the filing and payment of annual income tax returns for the year 2020.
“I-extend na lang sana ang April 15 deadline, kahit na sa NCR Plus lang. We already extended last year dahil sa enhanced community quarantine. Nasa parehong sitwasyon tayo a year later, kaya hindi ko naiintindihan bakit hindi mapagbigyan,” Binay said in a statement.
BIR Deputy Commissioner Arnel Guballa on Monday said the bureau would not be extending the deadline due to the government’s need to reach its revenue targets to fund the pandemic response.
As a relief for taxpayers, Dulay said the BIR will allow the filing of a tentative ITR before the deadline and give them until May 15 to amend the returns without penalties.
If overpayment of taxes will be made on the revised ITRs, the bureau said taxpayers can either file for a refund, or choose to carry over the overpaid tax as a credit against the tax due for the same tax type in the following period.
But Binay said individual taxpayers and even micro and small businesses would find it difficult to comply, in the first place, given the restrictions on movement.
“Ang talo kasi rito iyong mga indibidwal at maliliit na negosyo na limitado ang kapasidad na kumpletuhin ang mga requirements dahil sa lockdown. So para sa kanila, walang bearing ang no-penalty amendments dahil baka mismong pag-file hindi nila magawa,” she said.
The senator also said that even corporate taxpayers would be pressed for time in adjusting their payments to the lower rates provided as relief by the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Law, which President Rodrigo Duterte only signed on March 26. The BIR released the law’s draft implementing rules and regulations on Tuesday.
Binay also stressed that a deadline extension does not mean non-payment.
“Hindi naman dahil extended ay hindi na magbabayad. Those who are able to will file and pay. Ang panawagan lang naman natin is not to penalize those who are unable to comply because of the difficulties presented by the lockdown,” she said.
Based on the BIR’s monthly collection goal, the agency aims to collect P235.237 billion in April.
The BIR said taxpayers or assigned officers can also use their electronic signatures in filing returns, attachments, and other documents needed, which will be considered as actual signatures.
It recently allowed taxpayers to file their returns and make payments anywhere, or even outside the area covered by Revenue District Offices where they are registered, without incurring penalties.