By Jun Ramirez
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) ruled out yesterday extending the April 15 deadline in the filing of 2019 income tax returns (ITR) despite the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
“The government needs the collection,” said Revenue Deputy Commissioner for Operations Arnel Guballa in an exclusive interview.
He said the BIR is coming out with a memorandum circular denying the request of various stakeholders seeking for the extension of the deadline due to COVID-19.
Guballa said taxpayers can avail of the various online facilities in filing ITRs and paying taxes, plus the use of the BIR’s electronic filing and payment system (eFPS).
He said records showed that in 2018, more than 60 percent of taxpayers, mostly business and professional taxpayers, used the electronic system.
These are eFPS, mobile payment through GCash, Landbank Link.biz Portal, DBP Pay Tax Online System, Unionbank Online, PesoNet Landbank Link.biz Portal and the latest PayMaya which is an app that gives user a virtual prepaid card to shop online, pay bills, and send money.
Guballa said they do not expect the rush of filers as the deadline nears because a big majority of them are salaried or compensation earners are not required to do the chores but their employers under the so-called substituted filing system.
He noted that almost all businesses, professionals, and mixed income earners are filing their returns online which they said is easy and hassle-free.
BIR old-timers noted that despite force majeure events in the past, the ITR filing deadline had never been extended as required in the Tax Code.