Senator Joel Villanueva implored the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to also extend the deadline for all other tax filings.
Villanueva made this call after the BIR extended the filing of annual income tax returns (ITRs) until May 15 due to the imposition of an enhanced community quarantine to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in the country.
“We thank the BIR for reconsidering its business-as-usual state of affairs and extending the deadline for the filing of annual income tax returns. Just the same, we also plead with our tax authorities to grant a reprieve in the deadline for all other filings in the bureau as well, especially given the enhanced community quarantine where businesses are closed and mass public transportation is suspended,” Villanueva said in a statement.
He cited for instance the filing of tax protests which, he said, are “sensitive to deadlines”.
“If protests are not submitted on time, the assessment will be final. A tax protest entails gathering and collating official documents which are probably kept at offices to support the arguments of the person who filed the protest,” he said.
Villanueva said there are also taxes for one-time transactions such as documentary stamp tax (payable within five days from the close of the taxable month), capital gains tax (payable within 30 days from the sale), donor’s tax (30 days from donation), and monthly and quarterly tax filings.
“We understand that the extension has dire consequences, which includes incurring a shortfall of PHP145 billion. But right now, we need a concerted effort to keep our people confined in their homes and reduce the anxiety they feel as much as possible,” he said. ““Having more infected patients will also be more costly for the government in terms of stretching our already-stressed healthcare system and our coffers as well.”
On the other hand, he reiterated the government’s appeal to those ready to file their ITRs on or before the original April 15 deadline 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 coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
“Kailangan po ng inyong pamahalaan ang buwis na gagamiting pondo para labanan ang (Your government needs your taxes to fund the fight against) Covid-19,” Villanueva said.
He also urged the public to fully cooperate with authorities during the enhanced community quarantine.
The BIR extended the deadline for the filing of the 2019 annual ITRs to May 15, 2020 through Revenue Memorandum Circular (RMC) signed by BIR Commissioner Caesar Dulay on March 18.
An unintended result of the deadline extension is an estimated delay and shortfall in tax collections of around PHP145 billion, which may have to be covered by additional borrowings by the national government. (PNA)