GENERAL SANTOS CITY – The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) in Region 12 (Soccsksargen) has tapped local government units (LGUs) to encourage more taxpayers to file their income tax returns (ITR) before the deadline on April 15.
Jose Eric Furia, director of BIR Revenue Region No. 18, said Thursday their district officers and personnel are currently working with LGUs in the region to expand the reach of their tax campaign and properly educate residents on various tax regulations.
The BIR district offices in the area conducted motorcades in various localities and online meetings to drum up support to the tax campaign, which focuses on the theme: “Hamon ng Panahon: Buwis ko para sa Pilipino.”
Furia said they hope that taxpayers will positively respond to the call and pay their dues early despite the continuing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
“The necessity of taxes cannot be deferred, especially during this pandemic, when the government is dependent on revenue from taxes, among others, for economic recovery and for expenses in its battle against Covid-19,” he said in a statement.
Aileen Punzalan, head of the BIR Revenue District Office (RDO) 111 in Koronadal City, said the LGUs have been very helpful in their ongoing tax campaign despite various limitations and challenges due to Covid-19.
She specifically cited the conduct of dialogues and consultations with taxpayers, which have shifted to the online mode as a safety precaution.
“The response has been overwhelming so far, and we’re hoping that it will translate to better tax collection,” she said in a phone interview.
BIR-RDO 111, which has a collection goal of PHP1.63 billion this year, has jurisdiction over Koronadal City and the 10 municipalities of South Cotabato province.
Punzalan said they expect some 13,000 taxpayers in the area to file their 2020 ITR on or before April 15.
Furia said their central office has reiterated that this year’s deadline will not be extended, but they adopted relief measures to assist the taxpayers.
The agency will allow the filing of tentative ITR before the April 15 deadline and give them until May 15 to amend the returns without penalties, she said.
He said any overpayment could be used as a credit against the tax due for the same tax type in the succeeding period or file for a refund.
“All tax returns, attachments, and documents can be signed by the taxpayer or its authorized officer or signatory through electronic signature,” he said.
Furia added that the electronic signatures would be deemed equivalent to an actual signature for filing purposes. (PNA)