By Mario Casayuran
Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go announced late Wednesday that the Department of Finance (DOF) and Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) have agreed in principle to his appeal to extend by one month the deadline for the filing of the Income Tax Returns (ITRs).
“After discussing the matter with President Rodrigo Duterte and Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, the DOF and the BIR have agreed in principle to my appeal to extend by one month the April 15 deadline to May 15,” Go said.
“Guidelines on this extension shall be released soon by the concerned agency,” he added.
The senator earlier appealed to the DOF and BIR to extend the deadline for the filing of the ITRs as employees have only three days to get their office-prepared Income Tax return (ITR) forms and file their ITRs after the scheduled April 12 lifting of the enhanced community quarantine policy.
Go said that his appeal was based on his discussions with colleagues in the Senate, particularly Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, Senators Maria Imelda Josefa “Imee” R. Marcos, Francis “Tol” Tolentino, Pilar Juliana “Pia” S. Cayetano, Emmanuel “Joel” Villanueva, Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, Maria Lourdes “Nancy” Binay, Ramon Revilla Jr. and Panfilo “Ping” M. Lacson, who all raised concerns on the impact of the COVID-19 situation on Filipinos trying to meet the tax deadline.
“This will give our people a chance to focus on their safety and the welfare of their family at this crucial time. After we overcome this health situation, we trust that they will faithfully fulfill their tax obligations,” he explained.
“Sa panahong katulad nito, dapat nagtutulungan tayo na mapagaan ang pasakit ng taumbayan. Magmalasakit po tayo sa bawat Pilipinong apektado,’’ he added. (In times like this, we should help to ease the burden of the people. We should show concern to every affected Filipino).
He was referring to the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which has prompted President Duterte to place Luzon under enhanced community quarantine and the entire country under a state of calamity.