BIR confident it will hit income tax target

Taxpayers wait to file their income tax returns at the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Revenue Region 7A office in Fishermall, Quezon City on Monday. — PHOTO BY LUISA MARIA JACINTA C. JOCSON
THE BUREAU of Internal Revenue (BIR) is confident it will reach its P1.1-trillion collection target from the filing of annual income tax returns (AITRs).
“We’re optimistic that we will reach that target. As to how much exactly has come in, we have to verify and check,” BIR Commissioner Romeo D. Lumagui, Jr. told reporters at the BIR Revenue Region 7A office in Fishermall, Quezon City on Monday.
Mr. Lumagui and other officials visited four BIR offices on Monday, the deadline for the filing of 2022 annual income tax returns.
“We saw a very good turnout for this year’s filing. We saw that our online facilities worked properly. This year’s filing was not like previous years, where taxpayers would file and pay their ITR on the deadline. Our campaign this season was effective,” Mr. Lumagui said.
He noted lines were noticeably shorter at the BIR offices, as there were fewer taxpayers filing their ITRs on the last day compared with previous years.
Mr. Lumagui said allowing taxpayers to file “anywhere” helped them meet the deadline.
Revenue Memorandum Circular (RMC) No. 32-2023 allowed taxpayers to file their 2022 AITR and pay the corresponding taxes due anywhere on or before April 17, 2023, without penalties imposed for wrong venue filing.
“Last week, we said that we were waiting for less than 10% of taxpayers to file and pay their annual income tax returns. When we checked a while ago, it was already less than 4%. There were a lot of transactions over the weekend because we lengthened office hours and accepted more filings,” he added.
There are an estimated 3.8 million individual taxpayers, not including businesses, in the country.
The BIR did not extend the deadline for the filing of income tax returns. Taxpayers who failed to file and pay their tax returns on Monday will now face penalties, such as 12% interest and 25% surcharge.
Mr. Lumagui said the BIR is working to improve its procedures for filing and payment of income taxes.
“We are hoping there won’t be any long lines in the coming years. We’ve seen today that there were shorter lines, and we were able to make transactions easier. In the years to come, we will work hard to further improve our processes,” he added. 
This year, the agency expects to collect P2.6 trillion in revenues, up by 11% from the P2.34 trillion it collected last year. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson