TACLOBAN CITY – The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has given business owners affected by the supertyphoon Yolanda to file their losses until March 31.
This announced by BIR Commissioner Nelson Caspe during his visit coinciding the launching of tax campaign on March 24.
The sworn declaration of loss should be filed in order to avoid penalties, Caspe said.
Earlier, Commissioner Kim Henares declared that businessmen who suffered economic losses due to Yolanda had to file their losses on December 23, 2013.
This order of Henares was met with strong opposition by the businessmen who are still reeling from the aftermath of Yolanda.
Business owners in Tacloban, in particular, claimed that they need some tax breaks considering of the losses they sustain during the typhoon, citing particularly the massive looting incident happened in the city’s business establishments.
The BIR, in its March 18, 2014 revenue memorandum circular, extended the deadline.
“Tension was felt when Commissioner Henares announced December 23, 2013 as deadline. Businessmen were practically demanding from Henares to extend the deadline as we were left with nothing after the supertyphoon followed by massive looting in all business establishments in the city.  With 143-day time frame, it gave the community enough time to prepare,” said Jackson Uy, president of the Tacloban Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Inc.
“We felt relieved when Commissioner Henares bend the decision for the businessmen. However, (we were) disappointed for no other tax perks for affected businesses (were given),” Uy said.
The businessmen also requested BIR last year to offer deferred payment terms without interest and penalties for late payments for income taxes.  Aspe however, emphasized that the deadline for payment of income taxes is still April 15.  While for those who want to divide their payments, may pay on April 15 and June 15. (VICKY C. ARNAIZ)