BUREAU of Internal Revenue (BIR) has extended the cut-off date for the tax amnesty on delinquencies by another 30 days to May 23 as a form of relief to taxpayers affected by the COVID-19 lockdown.

The BIR released Revenue Regulations No. 5-2020 Tuesday, allowing the extension of the cut-off date for availing of the tax amnesty on delinquencies from the original April 23 deadline, in light of business disruption caused by the pandemic and the resulting lockdown.

“All persons… with internal revenue tax liabilities covering taxable year 2017 and prior years may avail of the Tax Amnesty on Delinquencies within one year form effectivity of these Regulations or until April 23, 2020. However, the said date may be extended if the circumstances warrant and extension such as is case of country-wide economic or health reason/s,” according to the regulations, approved by Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III.

Through series of revenue memorandum circulars (RMCs) earlier, the bureau also extended other filing and payment deadlines, including the income tax return (ITR) filing, which was extended to May 15 from the April 15.

In RMC 30-2020 dated March 23, the BIR said the deadline for filing and payment will be extended for another 30 days if the month-long Luzon-wide lockdown is extended, if the May 15 extension falls within the new quarantine period.

“If the ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) period (is) extended further, then filing of returns and payment of the corresponding taxes due thereon and submission of reports and attachments falling within the enhanced extended period shall also be extended by 30 calendar days,” according to the RMC, a copy of which was released yesterday.

In RMC 31-2020, the bureau also extended for 30 days the submission deadline for other documents such as the letter answer to notice of informal conference, response to the preliminary assessment notice, protest letters, supporting documents for requests for re-investigation of audit cases, appeals for reconsideration to the commissioner after a final decision on disputed assessments, and other similar letters.

It also moved the deadline for filing applications for value-added tax refunds for those falling due on March 31 to April 30.

The government hopes to collect P3.49 trillion this year to fund its P4.1-trillion spending plan, with the remaining funds to be sourced from its borrowing activities. The BIR is tasked to collect P2.576 trillion.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte placed Luzon under ECQ until mid-April to slow the spread of COVID-19. — Beatrice M. Laforga