BIR extends tax deadline to May 15, delaying collection of P145B
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has extended the deadline for the filing of income tax returns to May 15, heeding appeals of businessmen and lawmakers who say the mandatory April 15 cutoff is not feasible because of the monthlong lockdown of Luzon to halt the spread of the new coronavirus.
By extending the deadline for the filing of returns, collection of about P145 billion in taxes will be delayed, the Department of Finance (DOF) said in a statement on Thursday.
The DOF said the revenue was crucial for the government to fund “extremely urgent” social protection and emergency health measures to combat effectively the coronavirus and sustain state investments needed to help Filipinos “regain stable and reliable sources of income at the soonest possible time.”
‘No impact’ on spending plan
The delayed collections would be more than five times bigger than the government’s initial P27.1-billion economic package for coronavirus response.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, however, said the extension would have “no impact” on the government’s plan to spend more on public goods and services this year, worth P4.2 trillion.
Internal Revenue Commissioner Caesar Dulay issued Revenue Memorandum Circular (RMC) No. 28-2020 on Wednesday, extending the deadline for the filing of returns to May 15.
There will be no penalty for filing and payment up to May 15, Dulay said.
Taxpayers may file their returns and pay their taxes at any BIR-authorized bank nearest to their homes or places of work or to any revenue collection officer in their revenue district office, he added.
In a text message, Tax Management Association of the Philippines Inc. (TMAP) president Romeo H. Duran said the one-month extension “will suffice.”
Earlier, TMAP together with four other associations of accountants and bankers sought a 30-day extension of the deadline for the filing of returns.
The DOF said the deadline was extended “to provide relief” to taxpayers who would not be able to finish the paperwork by April 15 because most companies were operating on reduced manpower whose movements were limited by quarantine rules imposed by the government.
Still, the DOF and the BIR urged taxpayers, especially “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.”
“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,” the DOF pointed out.
The BIR also issued RMC 27-2020 on Tuesday extending the deadline for the filing of value-added tax (VAT) refund applications for the first quarter of 2018 to April 30 from March 31.
According to the memorandum, “[t]he 90-day period of processing VAT refund claims by the processing offices for those claims that are currently being evaluated and for those that may be received from March 16 to April 14, 2020, is suspended and that the counting of the number of processing days shall resume after the lifting of the community quarantine issued by the President.”
Finance Undersecretary Gil Beltran told the Inquirer last week that of the projected P91 billion in forgone revenue this year due to the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, P57 billion would be inflicted on the BIR and P34 billion on the Bureau of Customs.
Slower business activities due to the coronavirus pandemic were expected to reduce corporate income tax revenues.
In January, the BIR collected P194.9 billion in taxes, up 5.3 percent year-on-year but below the P229.4-billion goal.
For 2020, the agency has been tasked with generating P2.58 trillion, which accounts for the bulk of the government’s P3.5-trillion total revenue target for the year.
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