BIR urged: Extend income tax filing deadline to May 31 amid new lockdown
MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is urged to extend the deadline of filing income tax returns to May 31 after Metro Manila and four other provinces were once again placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
Deputy Speaker Bernadette Herrera said BIR can extend the deadline by citing Bayanihan 1 Law which authorizes the extension of statutory deadlines due to the pandemic.
The deadline to file and pay income tax returns is set on April 15.
“Considering how NCR, Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan, and Rizal are now under ECQ, I also prod the BIR to extend to May 31, 2021, the deadline for the filing of income tax returns for those who file their forms in person at the BIR offices instead of online or through the banks,” Herrera said in a statement.
Herrera likewise said that even if the BIR has provided an option to file income tax returns electronically, there is “extreme difficulty” for many Filipinos to access the internet.
“As regards online filing of tax returns, the extreme difficulty of many Filipinos in accessing the internet because they do not have high broadband subscription postpaid accounts, is one good reason most small businesses and ordinary taxpayers are unable to resort to the electronic filing mode the BIR has,” Herrera said.
The BIR announced on Monday it is allowing the filing of tax returns and the payment of taxes falling within the period of March 22 to April 30 this year “anywhere, even outside the jurisdiction of the Revenue District Office (RDO) where the taxpayer is registered.”
There was, however, no announcement regarding a deadline extension.
Herrera said that while she appreciated BIR’s move to allow taxpayers to file their returns outside of their assigned revenue districts, she expressed beliefs that this move “would not be enough to enable taxpayers in the NCR+ ECQ Bubble to meet the deadline in time.”
“Extending the deadline also gives corporate taxpayers to appreciate and claim the lower tax rates and tax exemptions provided in RA 11534 or the CREATE Act which rationalizes tax incentives and COVID-19-related tax breaks,” Herrera said.
“Deadline extension will also give BIR enough time to finalize the new tax returns or supplemental forms needed to claim the new rates and exemptions in RA 11534,” she added.
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