DOF: Deadline of filing of tax returns moved to May 15

DOF: Deadline of filing of tax returns moved to May 15
Commuters scramble for a ride in Commonwealth market last March 17, 2020. The government has suspended public transportation following the enhanced Community Quarantine imposed by the local government.
The STAR / Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 10:41 a.m.) — Filing of tax returns has been moved to May 15 from April 15, as relief for tax payers who were unable to prepare for filing amid the lockdown in Luzon, the Department of Finance said.

In a statement Thursday, DOF said the Bureau of Internal Revenue “has extended the deadline for the filing of 2019 annual Income Tax Returns by a month to May 15, 2020.”

The Finance department however urged those who are ready to file their ITRs before April 15 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 novel coronovirus [disease] known as COVID-19.”

President Rodrigo Duterte placed all of Luzon under enhanced community quarantine from March 17 until April 12 and ordered restricted movement outside each homes.

Mass transportation has likewise been suspended.

No penalties

DOF said BIR Commissioner Caesar Dulay signed Revenue Memorandum Circular dated March 18 granting the one-month extension for income tax filing and payments “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," DOF added.

The Finance department however admitted that the deadline extension will result in an estimated delay and shortfall in tax collections of around P145 billion. This, however, "may have to be covered by additional borrowings by the national government."

It reiterated its appeal to those who can file before the April 15 to do so, through online filing and payment platforms.

DOF said those 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.”

Payment for those who will file their annual ITR through electronic BIR form may also be done through the following:

•    Over-the-Counter payment through AABs
•    Revenue Collection Offices (RCOs) in areas where there are no AABs
•    Electronic/online payment through:

  1. 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 facilitiy, such as depositors of RCBC and Robinsons Bank
  2. Development Bank of the Philippines’ (DBP) Pay Tax Online (for holders of Visa/Mastercard Credit Cards and/or BancNet ATM/Debit cards)
  3. Union Bank Online Web and Mobile Phone Payment Facility (for taxpayers who have an account with Union Bank of the Philippines)
  4. Mobile payment (GCash/Paymaya)

The BIR, which collects around 80% of tax revenues yearly, relies heavily on a typical surge in collections during April as taxpayers troop to their offices to settle their income tax duties.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the government is set to lose P91 billion this year as the spread of the virus spooks consumers from economic activities like travel, which generates revenues for the government.  — Kristine Joy Patag with reports from Ian Nicolas Cigaral

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