Solon appeals to BIR to ease tax filing restrictions amid Covid restrictions

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House Committee on Ways and Means chairman and Albay Rep. Joey Salceda on Monday appealed to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to ease tax filing restrictions in view of the declaration of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and the looming April 15 deadline.

The Albay congressman said among the adjustments that can be made is the relaxation of venue rules on filing of tax returns.

“I don’t think we can extend the deadline. We need the money especially given the plan for a SAP (Social Amelioration Program) 3. But there are other adjustments we can make,” Salceda said. “The venue restrictions are the most irrational part of the BIR tax regulations. It’s also the hardest to navigate, especially given the pandemic.”

Salceda also suggested that the withholding tax be reduced in light of the reduction in the tax rate.

“Withholding tax rate was 15 percent when the CIT (corporate income tax) was 30 percent. It follows that when we lowered to 20 percent, the rate should be 10 percent. It’s not for anything else but logic,” Salceda added.

Under the newly-signed Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act, Salceda introduced a mandate requiring the Department of Finance to review rules on withholding taxes every three years.

“Because we changed the rules this year, we should review the revenue regulations on withholding also this year. Again, it’s the logical thing to do,” he said.

Salceda said he will also hold briefings with the BIR to ensure that the rules and regulations can be issued without delay. 

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