• BIR: Firms should declare losses by Monday

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    Yolanda-hit businesses must file their sworn declarations of loss by Monday  (March 31) to avoid penalties, the Bureau of Internal Revenue announced.

    BIR Deputy Commissioner BIR Nelson Aspe said the time extension was enough for storm-hit businesses to reconstruct accounting records and officially declare losses.

    The BIR, in its March 18, 2014 revenue memorandum circular, extended the dead-    line declaring super typhoon  losses from the previous 45- day period after the crisis to March 31.

    Under the law, businesses are required to declare losses arising from crisis within 45 days. In the case of Super Typhoon Yolanda the previous deadline was December 23, 2013.

    “This is really an extraordinary relief because a BIR commis–sioner is only allowed to extend the time frame to 90 days. There are special considerations  for typhoon Yolanda since its impact was beyond expecta–tions,” Aspe said.

    In their declaration, storm-hit businesses are expected to state the nature of the disaster that gave rise to losses, give descriptions and locations of damaged properties, items needed to compute losses, the amounts of insurance or  other compensations.

    Tacloban businesses asked the BIR late last year to extend the deadline from the man–dated 45-day time frame, but it was only this month that the tax bureau acted on the request, a move criticized by local business groups.

    “We have to address demands of business chambers. We have to be careful because our duty is to safeguard revenue. There are concerns that maybe those who are not victims are claiming losses,” Aspe added.

    In its memorandum, the BIR stated that this “extraordinary relief” does not cover businesses with centralized records, where accounting records are kept outside devastated areas.

    Aspe said that other than extending the time frame of loss declaration, there will be no more tax perks for typhoon-affected businesses. The BIR is also keeping the April 15 deadline for the filing of income tax returns.

    Earlier, local businessmen asked the BIR to direct its field offices in storm-hit areas to be lenient with them and relax the documentary requirements for withholding taxes.

    The BIR was also requested   to offer deferred payment terms without interest and penalties for late payments for income taxes.

    PNA

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