BIR keeps April 15 tax filing deadline despite COVID-19 lockdown

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 18 2020 11:12 AM | Updated as of Mar 18 2020 11:45 AM

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MANILA -- The Bureau of Internal Revenue rejected Wednesday calls to extend the April 15 deadline for filing of income tax returns (ITRs), which will come just days after the end of the COVID-19 lockdown in Luzon. 

The public can file their ITRs through the agency's website and pay their taxes through online channels like PayMaya and GCash before the April 15 deadline, said BIR Deputy Commissioner for Operations Arnel Guballa.

The Luzon-wide quarantine, which restricted millions to their homes and shut most of public transport, is scheduled to end on April 13.

"Hindi po kami magbibigay ng extension, April 15 pa rin," he told DZMM. 

(We will not give an extension. It's still April 15.) 

"Ang tax po kasi, lifeblood po iyan... Mabobokya naman po ang gobyerno natin [kung ililipat ang deadline], kailangan natin ng pondo," he added. 

(Tax is the lifeblood of the government. Our government will suffer if the deadline is moved. We need funds.) 

Taxpayers may opt to pay only a partial amount before April 15, and settle the rest of their liabilities and submit documents like certificates from accountants before June 15, said the official. 

"Kahit magkano lang po muna ang pansamantala, basta makakolekta lang po kami... Saka na po tayo magtuos," Guballa said. 

(Any amount will do temporarily, just so that we can collect funds. Let's compute the rest of the liabilities later.) 

Those who fail to meet the tax filing deadline will pay a 25-percent surcharge, on top of a 12-percent annual interest, the BIR earlier said. 

The Philippines has confirmed 187 cases of the novel coronavirus, including 14 deaths and 6 patients who recovered as of Tuesday, said the health department.