The Department of Finance (DOF) on Monday lauded large taxpayers that settled their 2019 tax obligations despite the extended deadlines, aiding a government struggling with low collections to date.

“The ‘bayanihan’ spirit exemplified by these taxpayers—in keeping with Republic Act No. 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act—deserves recognition as their early income tax return (ITR) payments have provided the Duterte administration the much-needed additional funds to sustain the government’s social amelioration programs, emergency health measures and the economic stimulus packages amid the global health crisis induced by the coronavirus disease 2019 contagion,” Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said in a statement.

“We hope that the commendable act of these taxpayers would inspire other taxpayers to do the same and contribute to our nation-building as we work together to get the economy back on its feet in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Dominguez said.

On its website, the DOF listed down the top 500 firms and institutions that filed their ITRs ahead of the June 14 deadline, with BDO Unibank Inc. ranked No. 1, although the amount of taxes it paid was not disclosed.

Rounding up the top 10 were Robinsons Land Corp., Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), Bank of the Philippine Islands, Unilab Inc., Mercury Drug Corp., Maynilad Water Services Inc, Metrobank Card Corp., Globe Telecom Inc. and Philippine Ports Authority.

DOF Assistant Secretary and spokesperson Antonio Joselito G. Lambino II told the Inquirer that Section 270 of the Tax Code does not allow disclosure of tax information.

DOF and BIR officials earlier called on taxpayers to no longer wait for the extended deadlines and settle their dues as soon as possible.

Last Friday, the BIR published Revenue Regulations (RR) 12-2020 signed by Dominguez and Internal Revenue Commissioner Caesar R. Dulay, repealing the section in the earlier-issued RR 11-2020 automatically extending tax deadlines by 15 days whenever COVID-19 quarantine periods were prolonged.

As such, the latest June 14 deadline to pay and file 2019 ITRs stays, among other deadlines listed down in RR 11-2020, “regardless of any extension or modification of quarantine,” the BIR said.

Since June 14 falls on a Sunday, the actual cut-off date will be June 15, Monday, under RR 11-2020.

Under the Tax Code, the mandatory deadline for filing and payments of the previous year’s ITR is every April 15, but given physical distancing restrictions amid the initial one-month enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) imposed in Luzon and other parts of the country since mid-March, the BIR moved it to May 15.

The BIR again pushed back the deadline to May 30 when the ECQ was first extended to April 30, and then to June 14 when the quarantine was prolonged until May 15.

Despite the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in place since May 16, the BIR and the DOF no longer extended the due date because “the government needs funds.”

RR 11-2020 had also moved to June 22 the final day of the ongoing tax amnesty on delinquencies, from the original April 23 deadline and the two previous extensions to May 23 and June 8 following the longer ECQ periods.

Aside from the ITR and tax amnesty deadlines, RR 11-2020 had adjusted cut-off dates for 48 other transactions and documents, including value-added tax (VAT) refunds and tax credit/refund applications, among others.

Amid a recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cabinet-level Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) this month further slashed the government’s 2020 tax and non-tax revenue collection goal to P2.61 trillion from the projection of P3.17 trillion in March. INQ


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