Gov’t reminds public of April 15 ITR filing deadline

Rappler.com
Gov’t reminds public of April 15 ITR filing deadline
April 15, which falls on Holy Tuesday, is the deadline for filing of income tax returns for professionals and other self-employed individuals

MANILA, Philippines – Pay your taxes.

With April declared as Tax Awareness Month, the government is reminding the public about the “value of taxes to our society” and how “taxation plays a pivotal and crucial role in nation-building.”

In a statement posted on the Official Gazette, the government calls on all taxpayers to be mindful of the approaching April 15 deadline for the filing of income tax returns (ITRs).

“Taxes belong to the public, and the public must demand transparency and accountability from all levels of government in the use of public funds. The government, likewise, must ask citizens to meet their tax obligations honestly and responsibly,” said the statement.

April 15, which will fall on Holy Tuesday, is the deadline for filing of income tax returns for professionals and other self-employed, such as businessmen. (READ: Self-employed: What to consider in filing your tax return)

The government reminds the public that taxes fund key programs and services. “Public education, roads and healthcare are also funded by taxes. With the Bangsomoro peace pact now in place, taxes will go a long way in funding development in Bangsamoro communities, therefore helping pave the way for lasting peace in Mindanao,” the statement said.

Taxes make up a large part of the national budget. “For 2014, tax revenues (as opposed to non-tax revenue, such as fines or tolls) account for 83 percent of the national budget. This amounts to P1,879,918,000,000 of the P2.265-trillion General Appropriations Act,” the statement said. (READ: Why do we pay taxes?)

The government estimates that some P400 billion is lost each year to tax evasion, thus the need for the name-and-shame campaign waged by the BIR to collect the proper taxes.

The official website of the Bureau of Internal Revenue contains announcements, information, tax rules, among others. An interactive website can also assist and encourage the public to pay their taxes.

Tax-to-GDP ratio

Earlier, Malacañang defended the BIR’s efforts to improve tax collection, saying the taxation to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio now is lower than in the past.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma Jr explained that while the country’s current taxation-to-GDP ratio is 14%, it was at 17% before the Asian Financial crisis in the mid-1990s.

Coloma explained that the tax-to-GDP ratio is an economic measurement that compares the amount of taxes collected by a government to the amount of income that a country receives for its products or GDP.

“By knowing the amount that is collected in tax revenues, economists can get a rough idea of how much the economy of a specific government is fueled by its tax collection,” he said. – Rappler.com

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