By Jun Ramirez
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) appealed yesterday to business and individual taxpayers to file now their 2019 Income Tax Return (ITRs) and pay taxes so that the government will have more money to battle the Corona Virus-19 (CONVID-19) pandemic.
BIR Deputy Commissioners for Operations Arnel Guballa made the call even as the deadline in the submission of the returns is still a month away.
The deadline has been extended from April 15 to May 15 to minimize overcrowding at tax filing centers and in compliance with physical distancing guideline under the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).
Guballa described the immediate payment of taxes as “urgent” due the public health crisis.
He said the government needs more funds to buy medical supplies for essential health workers and virus victims as well as foodstuffs for the poor.
The BIR, the single biggest source of funds for the government, is targeting to raise P2.5 trillion this year which mission has become almost impossible to meet due to the coronavirus crisis.
Earlier, it submitted to the Department of Finance the names of the more than 3.5 million workers in small and medium scale businesses entitled to receive salary subsidy totaling to more than P51 billion.
Revenue regional directors and district in Metro Manila and other key cities
disclosed fewer number taxpayers have so far filed ITRs due the lockdown.
They said the emergency isolation has been preventing many taxpayers and tax
practitioners to go to their offices where the financial records for the preparation of ITRs are kept.
Likewise, many insiders blamed the fluctuating Internet connection and the electronic Filing and Payment System (eFPS) of the BIR.
Insiders noted that the BIR is still using old computers despite repeated request to Congress for additional funds to modernize its electronic facilities.