By Jun Ramirez
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has finally extended the deadline in the filing of 2019 income tax return (ITR) from April 15 to May 15.
BIR Commissioner Caesar Dulay came out with Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 28 extending the deadline by one month apparently due to strong lobby mounted by lawmakers and other government officials.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Senator Lawrence “Bong” Go suggested for an extension to give taxpayers more time to comply with the requirements, and to avoid contracting the coronavirus during the filing season, especially during the last-minute rush.
In the same memorandum, the BIR chief also allowed taxpayers to pay taxes at authorized agent banks (AABs) “anywhere in the country” at their convenience.
The previous guideline obliged taxpayers to pay taxes at AABs under the jurisdiction of the revenue district office where they are registered, or face out-of-district filing charges.
Many solons had criticized the BIR for not heeding the taxpayers’ clamor for an extension amid the worsening health crisis.
The BIR said that the government needs the collection to help maintain its operations.
Fiscal authorities fixed the collection goal of BIR for the year at P2.5 trillion which has become unrealistic due to the adverse effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy.