ITR filing now easier with TRAIN law: DOF

MANILA -- Financial officials on Wednesday urged taxpayers to settle early their tax obligations, saying the filing of income tax returns (ITR) will now be easier due to the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law.

Department of Finance (DOF) Assistant Secretary Tony Lambino said the income tax forms for individuals and corporations have been reduced from 12 pages to only two to four pages.

“Isang pagbabago sa ating income tax filing na dulot ng TRAIN law, ay ang pagkakaroon ng ITR na mas maikli at mas madaling i-fill up. (One of the changes in the filing of income tax due to TRAIN law was the shorter ITR and easier filing),” Lambino said in a weekly economic briefing in MalacaƱang.

Lambino said the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), an attached office of DOF, has also established more electronic means of payment for easier and simplified payment of taxes.

BIR spokesperson and Deputy Commissioner for Legal Affairs Atty. Marissa Cabreros said ITR filing and payment of taxes can be processed online.

Cabreros said simplified ITR now has six types depending on the annual income of the taxpayers.

She said individuals purely earning compensation have to use the BIR Form 1700 while individuals with their own business, self-employed, professional or mixed income earner shall file using the BIR Form 1701, 1701-A and corporate returns are filed through BIR Forms 1702-RT, 1702-EX, and 1702-MX.

"Lahat po ‘yan ay pupuwede pong i-file online gamit po iyong dalawang (All of those can be filed online using the two) available platforms ng (of) BIR which is either the eBIR Form Package - 7.4.1 po ang pinaka-latest, or the eFPS (Electronic Filing Payment System) facility," she said.

Cabreros said the BIR has also opened Tax Filing Assistance Centers in their regional offices.

"Available din po ang lahat ng e-lounges ng ating RDO [Revenue District Offices] para tulungan po iyong ating mga taxpayers sa pagpa-file online ng kanilang return (E-lounges of our Revenue District Offices are also available to assist taxpayers in online filing of their returns)," she said.

She said taxpayers can still manually file or pay their return through banks aside from online facilities such as Globe G-Cash, Landbank Link Biz using ATM or debit cards and ‘usual facility’ e-FPS or Electronic Filing Payment System.

“So you have a lot of choices where to file the return,” Cabreros said.

Cabreros appealed to the public to file and pay their 2018 ITR on or before the April 15, 2019 deadline to avoid penalties.

"This is a friendly reminder po para po hassle-free ang pagpa-file nila ng return at (so that filing of ITRs is hassle-free) and they don’t get entangled with the last-minute deadline glitches," she said.

Under the TRAIN law, workers with annual taxable income below PHP250,000 are exempted from paying personal income tax.

TRAIN is the first package of the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program (CTRP) which was implemented in January 2018 to improve the tax system and make it simpler, fairer, and more efficient. (PNA)