By Jun Ramirez
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has reminded employers of closed small companies and those operating with skeletal force due to the lockdown that they have until today (May 30) to apply for their employees’ wage subsidy.
Revenue Deputy Commissioner for Operations Arnel Guballa issued the reminder as he released a memorandum revising the procedure on the availment of the Small Business Wage Subsidy (SBWS) program.
However, BIR insiders are optimistic that wage subsidy deadline would be extended by the Department of Finance corresponding to the Enhanced Community Quarantine’s (ECQ) extension and in order to assist more penniless workers who lost their jobs.
The memorandum basically instructs revenue district officers (RDOs) nationwide to facilitate the evaluation of applications submitted by employers within their respective jurisdiction.
He said RDOs should deploy more personnel for the task to hasten approval of the applications.
Guballa said the computer system can easily identify employers qualified to get the cash support for their workers.
The BIR maintains complete computer-generated information about the tax compliance of business operators, like tax remittances and submission of the list of tax-exempt minimum wage workers during the last three years ending in January 2020.
“These are essential criteria for the inclusion in the SBWS,” Guballa said..
Once the tax clearance is issued, the employer submits the said document to the Social Security System (SSS) charged with disbursement of the P51 billion budget of the SBWS.
Some 3.5 million workers are covered by the program which complements other cash assistance under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.
Beneficiaries are workers who did not receive salaries for March and April due to closure or partial shutdown caused by the imposition of the ECQ.
The beneficiaries included workers of various industries like construction, public transports, entertainment, laundry, hotels, restaurants, barber shops, beauty salons, manufacturing
and others not classified as large taxpayers.
Each worker will get from P5,000 to P8,000 depending on the regional minimum wage schedule of the Department of Labor and Employment starting on May 15.
The same amount will also be disbursed to the same beneficiaries at the end month, this time to include others who previously received cash assistance from other government offices.
All SBWS transactions are done online via www.bir.gov.ph and www.sss.gov.ph.