MANILA, Philippines – “Let us not make it difficult for our ‘bosses.’”
Senator Benigno Aquino IV called on Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Kim Jacinto-Henares to not penalize taxpayers who fail to use the bureau’s new electronic filing system, or extend the April 15 deadline for another 3 months.
“We should make things easier for our taxpayers, not make things difficult for them,” Aquino said in a statement on Thursday, April 9.
Aquino earlier asked BIR to delay imposing penalties should taxpayers not be able to use and file their tax returns using electronic Filing and Payment System (eFPS) or electronic BIR Forms (eBIRForms).
The BIR issued the regulation on March 15, published in a national daily two days later, leaving taxpayers with less than a month to comply with the new policy. The deadline of tax filing is Wednesday, April 15.
“The fines are not commensurate to the ‘offense’ of manual filing,” Aquino said. The senator asked why the government would fine those who are willing to pay their taxes, albeit doing so manually.
Apart from this, Aquino said the BIR personnel are also unable to explain the new procedures further, thus burdering the taxpayers more.
“The BIR local offices have conflicting statements on how to proceed, who are covered, determination of penalties, etc. This creates uncertainty in our taxpayers which in turn lead to dissatisfaction,” Aquino pointed out.
“The BIR also needs to ensure that their online system can handle the volume of downloads that will only increase in the next few days,” he said.
Aquino also encouraged the BIR to establish online kiosks or stations at local BIR offices, with personnel who will help input the returns of our taxpayers and teach them with the new procedures.
“In this way, BIR can fulfil its objective of migrating our taxpayers online, while dispelling any possible doubts and fears from our taxpayers on the new system,” he said. – Rappler.com