THE Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) cannot delay the April 15 deadline for filing and payment of income tax returns (ITR) because the date is set in law, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said, and urged taxpayers to use electronic channels instead to avoid crowds and minimize exposure to COVID-19.
“We can’t move it because the April 15 deadline is in the law,” Mr. Dominguez told reporters in a Viber message Sunday.
However, Mr. Dominguez said the authorities could waive interest fees on ITR amendments if the increment of income tax payable does not exceed 25%.
“We can allow amendment of returns without payment of interest, subject to certain conditions like no variance of more than 25%. This will be in line with the SECs (Securities and Exchange Commission) extension of deadline of filing of audited FS (financial statement) of 60 days,” he said.
Taxpayers are required to file ITRs on or before April 15. Failure to file by the deadline will result in penalties, including a 25% surcharge on the tax due, 12% interest per annum.
Separately, Deputy Commissioner Marissa O. Cabreros has urged taxpayers to file ITRs well in advance or use e-filing and e-payment facilities in order to achieve the recommended social distancing.
“We encourage the public to do it early and it can be done in the convenience of their own homes because of the e-filing facility. The BIR expanded online payment options, now including Union Bank and Paymaya. This is in addition to options (via) Development Bank of the Philippines, Land Bank, Globe GCash and credit cards,” Ms. Cabreros said in a mobile phone message.
Mr. Dominguez has said that the Department of Finance has not firmed up plan yet for tax relief measures for affected businesses.
BIR Commissioner Caesar R. Dulay said the government’s largest tax-collecting agency is considering targeted relief for businesses severely affected by the outbreak, though he provided no details. — Beatrice M. Laforga