SENATE President Vicente Sotto III yesterday asked the Department of Finance to extend the deadline for the filing of tax returns amid the fight against the spread of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Sen. Christopher Go appealed for an extension of at least a month to give taxpayers ample time to prepare documents and payments.
Sotto said he talked with Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez yesterday morning amid reports that the Bureau of Internal Revenue was cold to the idea of extending the April 15 deadline for filing of tax returns because government needs money to fund the fight against COVID-19.
According to the BIR, filing of tax returns can be made through the internet.
“I called Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez this (Wednesday) morning because there is a need to extend the filing of tax returns. Not everyone has access to the internet especially those who are in the provinces,” Sotto said.
Sotto said government has other fund sources for the fight against COVID-19, including the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., and the President’s Social Fund.
Congress can also pass a supplemental budget when regular session resumes on May 4.
Sotto said Dominguez was amenable to his suggestion since under the Internal Revenue Code, the BIR commissioner can extend the filing. The BIR is an agency under the DOF.
Go said while an extension may affect revenue collection, it is just proper to show compassion to Filipinos.
“As a legislator and fellow worker of government, I am appealing to the DOF and to BIR. Let’s give the people time to prioritize their safety and welfare of their families first, provided that after we overcome the crisis, we trust that they will fulfill their tax obligations,” Go said.
Sen. Francis Tolentino has earlier requested the BIR to extend the filing of returns due to the same reason.