Deadlines for tax amnesty, ITR extended anew – DOF

Robie de Guzman   •   May 5, 2020   •   555

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Finance (DOF) on Tuesday announced that the deadlines for tax amnesty and the filing of income tax returns (ITR) have been pushed back anew following the extension of enhanced community quarantine period in Metro Manila and other provinces to May 15.

In a statement, the DOF said it has issued Revenue Regulations (RR) No. 11-2020 further extending to June or July the deadlines on the filing of necessary documents or payment of taxes under the Tax Code of 1997, as amended.

The department said that the new regulation further extends the deadlines provided under RR No. 10-2020, which amended RR No. 7-2020 on the extension of deadlines for the filing of various tax returns as provided for by Republic Act (RA) No. 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act.

It added that the policy applies nationwide and shall generally apply during the “quarantine” period (whether community quarantine, enhanced community quarantine or ECQ, modified community quarantine or general community quarantine or GCQ).

The extended deadlines include the filing and payment of the following:

  • Annual income tax returns (ITRs) for individuals and corporations – June 14;
  • Submission of required hard copies of audited financial statements and other attachments to the annual ITRs – June 30;
  • Quarterly ITRs for individuals and corporations for the quarter ending March – June 14 and June 29, respectively;
  • Monthly VAT returns for March and April – June 4 and June 19, respectively;
  • Quarterly VAT returns for the quarter ending March – June 9; and
  • Quarterly percentage tax return for the quarter ending March – June 9.

The DOF also said that tax returns and payments for one-time transactions (ONETT) whose deadlines fall within the quarantine period are extended for 30 days from the date of the lifting of the quarantine.

Likewise, the new revenue regulation provides that the deadline for the filing of position papers, protest letters and other correspondences with due dates falling during the quarantine period shall be 30 days from the lifting of the quarantine.

The running of the statute of limitations shall also be suspended during the said period, the department added.

Meanwhile, taxpayers wishing to avail of the Tax Amnesty on Delinquencies under RA 11213 and implemented by RR 4-2019, as amended, can do so until June 22, 2020.

The deadline was previously set to June 8.

The DOF said this extension intends to give taxpayers ample time to settle their tax delinquencies while allowing the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to increase its collection from the tax amnesty program.

Taxpayers may access RR No. 11-2020 here for a complete list of the extended deadlines.

All other reportorial requirements not specifically mentioned in the RR whose date of submission falls within the quarantine period from March 16, 2020 has an extended deadline of 30 days from the date of the lifting of the quarantine.

In case of any further quarantine extension, the DOF said the extended deadlines shall be further extended for 15 calendar days.

The DOF and the BIR, however, said that taxpayers may still opt to file and pay their taxes before the extended deadline.

The agencies also said that taxpayers who file their tax returns within the original deadline or before the extended deadline may still amend their tax returns at any time on or before the extended due date.

If the amendment results in additional tax payments, such will not be subject to penalties such as surcharge, interest, and compromise penalties.

If the amendment results in an overpayment of taxes paid, the taxpayer may opt to either file for a refund or carry over the overpaid tax as credit against the tax due for the same tax type in the succeeding periods’ tax returns, the DOF added.

Finance Department oders PITC to remit unused public funds

Marje Pelayo   •   December 1, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Finance (DOF) ordered the Philippine International Trading Corporation (PITC) to remit all income from interests it generated from various government agencies so the fund may used for the government’s response against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and relief efforts to areas affected by the recent typhoons.

In a statement, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez wrote to Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez who chairs the PITC Board to remit to the national treasury a total of P1.1 billion that the corporation collected from the years 2018 and 2019.

The said amount was the balance of the interest income from funds of various government agencies supposedly for equipment that has been noted as “parked” funds in the state-run corporation.

The DOF noted that in 2019, the PITC had a trust liabilities of P33-B while from the start of this year to October it had P32.6-B.

“Following our discussion, we would like to request the return to the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) by PITC, the interest earned on such funds held in trust. From 2018 to 2019, the interest earned on such funds totaled P1.151 billion,” Sec. Dominguez confirmed.

Dominguez cited a Commission on Audit (COA) report which stresses that PITC’s non-remittance of the said fund to the National Treasury is a clear violation of the Government Auditing Code of the Philippines.

Prior to this, Dominguez also notified Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado through a letter of his order to PITC to return the P33-B to the national treasury.

Senator Franklin Drilon who raised the issue on the ‘parked’ unused public funds at PITC suggested the termination of the agency citing the problems it causes the government for concealing public funds. 

Also, Drilon said PITC seems to be a duplication of government function because the Budget Department also has an existing procurement service, not to mention each government agency’s Bids and Awards Committee that do similar work as PITC. MNP (with reports from Harlene Delgado)

DOH addresses issue of delayed benefits of healthcare workers

Maris Federez   •   November 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) has reiterated its mission to lead the country in creating a productive, resilient, equitable, and people-centered healthcare system, amid the issue of delayed benefits of healthcare workers.

In its press release dated November 28, the DOH said that it cannot take the welfare of the healthcare workers out of the equation in realizing the goals of a Universal Health Care system, especially in the midst of a national state of public health emergency where they are most needed.

“We are taking the issue of delayed benefits very seriously. When matters like this come to our attention, we conduct thorough investigations and concerned offices are made to answer to the Secretary and develop solutions to improve the delivery of services and expedite processes,” the DOH said.

“As health workers, many of us in the DOH—including members of our Executive Committee—have experienced working on the ground, in our health facilities, which is why we understand the challenges in the frontlines—being overworked, underpaid, demoralized, and in this pandemic, even more vulnerable,” it added.

The health department explained that the Active Hazard Duty Pay (AHDP) and Special Risk Allowances (SRA) under Bayanihan 1 are based on the savings of hospitals and only covered frontliners who reported for duty during the Enhanced Community Quarantine from March 15 to May 16.

“Considering that other hospitals do not have savings, DOH sub-alloted P51.9 million which has been released to 17 DOH-retained hospitals who requested for additional funding,” the DOH added.

The department further said that the AHDP and SRA for Bayanihan 2 were alloted through the Administrative Orders 35 and 36 issued by the Office of the President last November 16.

For this, the DOH and the DBM issued Joint Circulars 1 and 2 on November 25 which provided for the P9.2 billion sub-allotment to DOH-retained hospitals, Centers for Health Development (CHDs), and the Ministry of Health of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao for the period of September to December. This, the DOH said, has already been released this week.

The department appealed to the healthcare workers to inform them of health facilities that have not yet released their benefits and to file a written complaint to the DOH – Complaints Handling Unit at dohpau.chu@gmail.com.

The DOH assured that it is taking the matter very seriously and that it does not only respond to the health welfare of the general public but also to the health workers who are with them in attaining this vision and battling this pandemic. — /mbmf

Finance chief orders BIR, BOC to probe coops used for rice imports

Robie de Guzman   •   November 27, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Carlos Dominguez III has ordered the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs to assist in the investigation being conducted by the Department of Agriculture (DA) into the reported use of cooperatives by private traders as dummies for rice imports.

“There’s this question now as to why traders are using coops to import rice …. Let’s look into that because they might be using the tax advantage on rice imports,” Dominguez told BIR Commissioner Caesar Dulay and BOC Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero during a recent executive committee meeting.

Dominguez issued the directive following the DA’s decision to temporarily halt the issuance of sanitary and phytosanitary import clearances (SPSIC) to farmers’ cooperatives and irrigators’ associations for commercial purposes.

Through Administrative Order No. 34 issued in October, the DA suspended the SPSICs to coops and irrigators’ associations, effectively barring them from importing rice, after the DA received reports that these organizations have resorted to rice imports rather than carry out their purpose of procuring local rice from farmers.

Both the DOF and DA have also received reports that the SPSICs issued to cooperatives have been misused by traders to avoid legal responsibilities and evade the payment of the correct amount of import taxes.

Finance Undersecretary Antonette Tionko also noted that while cooperatives are not exempted from paying duties for importing rice, they can be exempted from paying the income tax on these imports if they are registered with the BIR as tax-exempt entities.

Through the AO, the DA directed the Bureau of Plant Industry to probe and to consult with affected stakeholders “to come up with new policies and rules to avoid circumvention of the laws” and to protect the farmers and cooperatives form exploitation.

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