Taxpayers appreciate extension of income tax payment deadline

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Taxpayers profoundly appreciate the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s (BIR)  timely decision to extend the April 15 income tax payment deadline to May 15 to address the mobility constraints imposed by the community quarantine lockouts designed to contain the COVID-19 epidemic.

The deadline extension responds to the earlier announced recommendation by the House Ways and Means Committee for the BIR to make such move to help save taxpayers from surcharges and penalties for inability to meet the April 15 deadline set by law.

Albay 2nd district Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee said their recommendations, including the waiver on penalties, were contained in an aide memoire sent to the House leadership, detailing measures to boost the economy and provide relief to tax payers amid the paralyzing Covid-19 threats.

Salceda pointed out that “while the April 15 deadline is written in the law, the Commissioner of Internal Revenue can make exceptions in meritorious cases, which is also provided in the tax code.” He expressd appreciation for the earlier view of the Secretary of Finance who said they are “constrained, but they have options.”

The Albay lawmaker noted, however, that the BIR’s electronic filing and payment system also help facilitate socal distancing and avoid face-to-face interactions. “The Large Taxpayer Service allows electronic filing. That’s around 30 to 40 thousand companies, and accounts for around 68 percent of the revenue the BIR generates. We should ensure that taxpayers’ experience is easy, so that both individual and small taxpayers can navigate the system,” he explained.

“It appears we are now compelled to fast-track the implementation of our electronic filing and payment system” he said. He likewise shared that their tax deadline extension proposal forms part of a “P199-billion package of measures that seek to boost the economy and compensate for possible welfare and economic losses due to the Covid-19 onslaught.”

Salceda said he will file the spending portion of the package, called “the Filipino Families First Act of 2020” shortly.

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