The Bureau of Internal Revenue said Thursday it has extended the deadline for the filing of the 2019 annual income tax returns by a month to May 15, 2020 in light of the month-long enhanced community quarantine in Luzon.
But the BIR appealed to those ready to file their ITRs on or before the original April 15 deadline to do so, to help the administration raise enough funds for the scaled-up national efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
A revenue memorandum circular dated March 18 signed by BIR Commissioner Caesar Dulay provides the one-month extension for income tax filing and payments without the imposition of penalties.
The circular said the emergency measure was being offered to provide relief to taxpayers who would not be able to prepare, let alone file, the necessary ITR documents on or before the original annual deadline of April 15 because of skeletal workforce arrangements and enhanced community quarantine rules that the national government has implemented to contain the pandemic.
An unintended result of the deadline extension is an estimated delay and shortfall in tax collections of around P145 billion, which may have to be covered by additional borrowings by the national government.
There are more than 100 days between the start of the year and the original tax filing deadline of April 15 to prepare tax filing materials.
“Some taxpayers have prepared for this early. Those who are or will soon be ready are requested to file and contribute to the government’s efforts to fight COVID-19 and stimulate economic activity amid a possible growth slowdown,” the BIR said.
Senators thanked Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III for acting on their request to be lenient in the filing of income tax returns amid the prevailing Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III said he was on the phone with Dominguez and directly asked him if flexible arrangements can be applied in the filing of ITRs.
On Thursday morning, he said the BIR said it would extend the filing deadline by a month.