Following clamor from taxpayers sidelined by the quarantine, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has extended the deadline for the filing of the 2019 annual income tax returns by a month, to May 15, 2020.

The announcement was made on Thursday by the Department of Finance (DOF), which however appealed to taxpayers to pay taxes on or before the original April 15 deadline if they are able to do so.

The DOF warned that its April 15 collection target of P145 billion would not be met and would have to be plugged by borrowings.

Early tax payments would “help the Duterte administration raise enough funds for the scaled-up national efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus known as Covid-19,” the DOF said.

Under BIR Revenue Memorandum Circular dated March 18, Commissioner Caesar Dulay also waived the imposition of penalties on taxpayers who will pay on or before the new deadline.

“This emergency measure is being offered to provide relief to Filipino taxpayers who will 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,” the DOF said.

“These tax payments are crucial for the government to fund extremely urgent social protection and emergency health measures meant to effectively combat Covid-19 as well as to sustain state investments needed to help Filipino families regain stable and reliable sources of income at the soonest possible time,” it added.

The DOF pointed out that there were “more than 100 days between the start of the year and the original tax filing deadline of April 15 to prepare tax filing materials.”

In a previous circular, the BIR announced that taxpayers enrolled in the Electronic Filing and Payment System may settle their tax liabilities with the respective authorized agent banks (AABs).

The following payment options are available for those who file their returns through the EBIRForms software:

  1. Over-the-Counter (OTC) payment through AABs;
  2. Revenue collection offices in areas where there are no AABs;
  3. Electronic/online payment through:
    • Land Bank of the Philippines’ Link.Ziz Portal (for taxpayers who have an ATM account with Landbank, holders of Bancnet ATM/debit/prepaid cards or taxpayers utilizing the PesoNet facility, such as depositors of RCBC and Robinsons Bank);
    • Development Bank of the Philippines Pay Tax Online (for holders of Visa/Mastercard Credit Cards and/or Bancnet ATM/Debit Cards);
    • Union Bank Online Web and Mobile Phone Payment Facility (for taxpayers who have an account with Union Bank of the Philippines); and
    • Mobile Payment (GCash/Paymaya).

Image source: Department of Finance