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#AskTheTaxWhiz: Filing of returns for withholding tax

Is it true that the filing of returns for withholding tax was made quarterly? Is there a new form for this?

Not exactly. It is true that the filing of the 1601-E and 1601-F has been made quarterly. Now, the forms required for these quarterly returns are 1601-EQ for creditable withholding tax and 1601-FQ for final withholding tax.

However, the withholding agent or taxpayer is still required to remit the withheld taxes monthly through a different form. For creditable withholding tax, this form is 0619-E, while for final withholding tax, it's 0619-F.

The 0619-E and 0619-F need to be filed during the first two months of each quarter (i.e. January, February, April, May, July, August, October, and November). For the remaining months (March, June, September, December), only the 1601-EQ and 1601-FQ need to be filed.

I withheld taxes in April and remitted them via 0619-E, but I did not withhold any tax in May and June. Am I still required to file the 1601-EQ since the period covered is the entire quarter (April to June)?

Yes. In the 1601-EQ, for example, you are required to indicate your total taxes withheld for the entire quarter. Your remittances in previous months will be indicated there as well and will be deducted from your taxes due for the quarter.

So if you did not withhold any tax during the rest of the quarter, you won't have any taxes due. That being said, you still have to file a return.

Remember, filing a return does not mean you have taxes to pay. This is most evident in cases where the taxpayer is tax-exempt, but it could also apply in this case.

If you fail to comply with these requirements, you might face heavy tax liabilities – if you aren’t already. Fortunately for some of those with existing tax liabilities, they can already apply for the tax amnesty. This isn't a "must-avail" option though. There are other options such as applying for a compromise settlement, requesting the easing of penalties, or appealing your case before the courts.

The Asian Consulting Group is launching the Tax Hub Talks in various provinces to teach taxpayers how best to settle their tax liabilities. Already, the Tax Hub Talks has been brought to Vigan City, Bacolod City, Puerto Princesa City, and Laguna. On July 29, the Asian Consulting Group will be bringing the Tax Hub Talks back to Metro Manila to discuss how to settle tax liabilities the right way. Pre-register now at tinyurl.com/ACGTaxHubTalks.

For more information, contact us at consult@acg.ph or (02) 622-7720. – Rappler.com

Mon Abrea, popularly known as the Philippine Tax Whiz, is one of the 2017 Outstanding Persons of the World, a Move Awards 2016 Digital Mover, one of the 2015 The Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines (TOYM), an Asia CEO Young Leader of the Year, and founding president of the Asian Consulting Group (ACG) as well as the Center for Strategic Reforms of the Philippines (CSR Philippines). Assisting him in his column is JM Miñano, communications associate of ACG. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in Communication Arts from the University of the Philippines Los Baños.

For inquiries, you may email consult@acg.ph or visit www.acg.ph for tax-related concerns.