April deadline of ITR filing stays despite extended quarantine, delayed CREATE passage
MANILA, Philippines — As quarantine restrictions gradually eased despite a prolonged pandemic, the deadline to file and pay 2020 taxes in April this year stays even as a legislator may seek a one-month extension in case tax managers cannot immediately adjust corporate income taxes to reflect possibly lower rates.
Out of the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s (BIR) P2.08-trillion collection target for 2021, Revenue Memorandum Order No. 7-2021 issued by Commissioner Caesar R. Dulay assigned the biggest monthly goal of P235.24 billion in April, as the mandatory income tax filing and payment deadline fall on that month.
Last year, BIR pushed back the April 15 deadline three times and gave taxpayers until June 15, 2020, to settle their 2019 dues as a form of relief while the country was then under stringent Covid-19 lockdown.
As a result, tax collection lagged at the start of last year even as the government enjoined online as well as early filing among those who can afford to do so.
This year, the pending reduction in firms’ income tax to 20-25 percent effective July last year under the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act awaiting President Duterte’s approval may give tax managers little time to adjust returns ahead of the deadline.
House ways and means committee chair and Albay Rep. Joey Salceda told the Inquirer Wednesday that while he believed there was enough time to comply, “should there be any need, I have already committed to asking the BIR for an extension” by one month or until May 15.
“As I said in my statements before, if we are unable to pass [CREATE] by January, I am prepared to invoke my oversight powers as ways and means chair to ask for an extension from the BIR,” Salceda said.
While the two houses of Congress agreed on the bicameral conference committee report over the weekend, the Action for Economic Reforms (AER) on Wednesday said it was worried about “questionable” CREATE provisions, including local oil refineries’ exemption from duties and taxes, exemption of legislative franchises’ tax perks from the Fiscal Incentive Review Board’s (FIRB) scrutiny, as well as the higher value-added tax (VAT)-exemption on the housing sector.
As such, the AER urged President Rodrigo Duterte to “exercise a line-item veto of the three contentious provisions, in order to ensure that CREATE’s reforms are not weakened by lobbies from vested interests.”
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