By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — Senator Nancy Binay today urged the Bureau of Internal Revenue and Department of Finance to reconsider its decision not to extend the April 15 deadline for the filing and payment of annual income tax returns for 2020.
“I-extend na lang sana ang April 15 deadline, kahit na sa NCR Plus lang. We already extended last year dahil sa enhanced community quarantine. Nasa parehong sitwasyon tayo a year later, kaya hindi ko naiintindihan bakit hindi mapagbigyan,” Binay said.
BIR Deputy Commissioner Arnel Guballa on Monday evening said the bureau would not be extending the deadline due to the government’s need to reach its revenue targets to fund the pandemic response.
He added that while there would be no extension, taxpayers will be allowed to amend their filings until May 15 without any penalties.
Binay, however, said that individual taxpayers and even micro and small businesses would find it difficult to comply in the first place given the restrictions on movement.
“Ang talo kasi rito iyong mga indibidwal at maliliit na negosyo na limitado ang kapasidad na kumpletuhin ang mga requirements dahil sa lockdown. So para sa kanila, walang bearing ang no-penalty amendments dahil baka mismong pag-file hindi nila magawa,” Binay said.
She also said that even corporate taxpayers would be pressed for time in adjusting their payments to the lower rates provided as relief by the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Law, which President Rodrigo Duterte only signed into law on March 26. The BIR released the law’s draft implementing rules and regulations on Tuesday.
The senator said that while she understood that the government has revenue targets, the people should not have to pay the price for its mishandling of the public health crisis.
“Hindi naman kasi taumbayan ang may kasalanan kung bakit lumala ang sitwasyon na kinakaharap natin. So why are we passing the buck if they aren’t responsible for the mismanagement of this crisis,” Binay said.
Based on the BIR’s monthly collection goal, the agency aims to collect P235.237 billion in April.
Binay also said that a deadline extension does not mean non-payment.
“Hindi naman dahil extended ay hindi na magbabayad. Those who are able to will file and pay. Ang panawagan lang naman natin is not to penalize those who are unable to comply because of the difficulties presented by the lockdown,” she said. (AI/MTVN)