By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Senators lauded on Thursday the move of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to extend the filing of income tax returns (ITR) from April 15 to May 15.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III said he was glad that the BIR heeded the calls for the extension of the deadline of the filing of 2019 ITRs amid the enhanced community quarantine being implemented in Luzon due to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
He said the extension “lessens the tensions of some of our people.”
Prior to the BIR’s extension, Sotto on Wednesday spoke to Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Carlos Dominguez III to ask for the extension of the ITR filing due date.
The Senate leader said Dominguez agreed as he assured the latter that they will legislate measures to fill any lost revenues due to the extension when they resume sessions on May 4.
Senate Ways and Means Committee chair Sen. Sonny Angara also thanked Dominguez and the BIR for allowing the extension.
Senator Francis Tolentino, who also wrote to the BIR to request for the extension of the filing period, also welcomed the development.
“Thank you BIR Commissioner [Caesar] Dulay for extending the filing of income tax returns til May 15, 2020 and showing that compassion is part of our statutes!” he posted on Twitter.
On the prodding of lawmakers, the BIR released on Thursday morning the memorandum extending the deadline of ITR filing for another month, without imposing penalties to taxpayers.