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Salceda recommends extending income tax filing until May 4

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House committee on ways and means chair Joey Salceda (Albay) has recommended to extend the filing of income tax returns until May 4 amid the existing community quarantine in several areas in the country due to the possible COVID-19 outbreak.

“We can extend the deadline, or we can temporarily waive the consequences of the deadline, which are penalties and surcharges. It makes sense to do either.” Salceda said.

Salceda on Monday suggested to the national government to ease tax filing requirements—waiving penalties on late filing up to May 4 in view of the April 15 deadline set by law on the filing of income tax returns.

Salceda in his aide memoire sent to members of House media also detailed measures to boost the economy and provide the public relief amid community quarantine measures to fight COVID-19, saying that the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) “should provide taxpayers with administrative relief, such as considering waiving the penalties for filing tax returns beyond the April 15 deadline.”

“It makes sense to extend. While the April 15 deadline is written in the law, the Commissioner of Internal Revenue can make exceptions in meritorious cases. That’s in the tax code. I understand the Secretary of Finance’s sense that they are constrained. But we have options,” said Salceda.

According to Salceda, electronic filing and payment system of the BIR will also help avoid face-to-face interactions.

“The Large Taxpayer Service already requires electronic filing. That’s around 30,000 to 40,000 companies. That accounts for around 68 percent of the revenue the BIR generates. We should ensure that the user experience is easy, so that individual and small taxpayers can navigate that the system,” said Salceda.

“We were already doing that by facilitating the legislative side of the BIR’s digital transformation. It appears we are now compelled to fast-track it.”

Salceda stressed the electronic filing “will help to extend the deadline and boost the electronic channels.”

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