Tour company appeals to BIR to move tax filing deadline amid COVID-19 Luzon lockdown

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 17 2020 07:02 PM

MANILA - The Bureau of Internal Revenue should defer the deadline for the filing of income tax returns to give businesses more time to prepare all necessary documents amid the COVID-19 lockdown imposed over the whole of Luzon, a tourism firm said on Tuesday. 

The BIR issued a memorandum dated March 16 saying that despite the lockdown, all income tax returns still need to be filed on or before April 15. 

Aileen Clemente, president and chair of Rajah Travel Corp, said meeting this deadline would be very difficult because the enhanced quarantine is until April 12, just three days before deadline. 

The lockdown halts most government services, classes, mass gatherings and public transport to keep people indoors. 

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“Do we just have 3 days to fix everything? Of course not,” Clemente said in an interview with ANC’s Market Edge. 

Clemente appealed to the BIR to “align” with the Securities and Exchange Commission which announced Tuesday that it was extending the filing of annual reports and financial statements. 

Quezon City on Monday said it was also extending the deadline for filing of business and property taxes to April 30, because of the COVID-19 lockdown.

The BIR, meanwhile, said taxpayers may use the agency’s electronic forms and pay through online facilities. 

Clemente also suggested that government help hotels by housing emergency personnel such as health workers in these facilities. 

She said that hotel occupancy is currently "at almost zero." 

Housing essential workers such as medical professionals in hotels would make it easier for them to get to hospitals and medical centers, and also help the hotel industry, Clemente said.