Is it the start of something new?
Is it the start of something new?
By: Angeline T. Anclote
2019 is almost over and it will be another year since the passing of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law. Throughout this year, the Government is deliberating other tax reforms; i.e., Corporate Income Tax and Incentives Rationalization Act (CITIRA) and Passive Income and Financial Intermediary Taxation Act (PIFITA). With all these tax reforms, the Government envisions to correct deficiencies in the tax system to make it simpler, fairer, and more efficient.
To show its commitment to their vision of making the tax system simpler, fairer and more efficient, various Revenue Memorandum Circulars (RMC) were issued by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) throughout the year. The onset is the issuance of various revised corporate tax returns by the BIR.
It will soon be time to file different annual tax returns now that another year is about to end. With this, there are certain RMCs issued which could affect our annual tax filings. First, an RMC was issued by the BIR dated January 2019 providing the revised annual income tax returns for Corporations (i.e. BIR Form No. 1702-EX and BIR Form No. 1702RT) and another RMC dated March 2019 was issued to provide the revised BIR Form No. 1702-MX. One can easily notice the decrease in number of pages from the old versions of these income tax returns. This is part of TRAIN’s implementation to set the maximum number of pages of tax returns to four (4) pages only with the hope of making the taxpayer’s filings less complicated.
In July 2019, another RMC was also issued to provide the revised BIR Form No. 1604-E. The new BIR Form No. 1604-E now requires taxpayers to identify whether it was recognized as a top withholding agent or not. Moreover, the summary of remittances of the new BIR Form No. 1604-E requires the total quarterly remittances per BIR Form No. 1601-EQ unlike the reporting of monthly remittances in the old version.
The same RMC also provides the separation of BIR Form No. 1604-C and BIR Form No. 1604-F from the consolidated BIR Form No. 1604-CF. The same changes mentioned in the new BIR Form No. 1604-E were also applicable to the new BIR Form No. 1604-C and BIR Form No. 1604-F. Aside from this, there were also changes made in the required schedules to be submitted.
For BIR Form No. 1604-F, there is an additional requirement to provide a schedule of “Alphalist for Other Payees Whose Income Payments are Exempt from Withholding Tax but Subject to Income Tax”. A new requirement is also needed to indicate the nature of the fringe benefit granted to employees.
With regards to BIR Form No. 1604-C, there will only be two (2) Alphalists (i.e. Alphalist of Employees and Alphalist of Minimum Wage Earners) instead of the previous five (5) Alphalists. With the new Alphalists, it will now be required to indicate the nationality of foreign employees, the employment status of all employees whether regular, casual, contractual / project-based, seasonal, probationary or apprentices / learners, period of employment with the present and previous employers, Tax Identification Number (TIN) of the former employer and reason of separation for employees whether terminated / resigned, transferred, retirement or due to death.
As of this writing, these new BIR Forms are not yet available in the Electronic Filing and Payment System (eFPS) and Electronic Bureau of Internal Revenue Forms (eBIRForms). We are unsure when will the separate revenue issuances announcing the availability of these revised tax returns will be released but we can surmise that these may currently, being readied in time for their corresponding deadlines.
This holds true for the new BIR Form No. 1604-C and BIR Form No. 1604-F since a recent RMC issued this November 2019 announced the extension of the deadline for the submission of the said Alphalist required for these new tax returns from 31 January 2020 to 28 February 2020. The BIR affirms that they are currently enhancing the prescribed facility for accomplishing the “Alphalist of Employees / Payees From Whom Taxes Were Withheld” and that the extension was granted to provide all taxpayers sufficient time to prepare and submit the new prescribed BIR Form No. 1604-C and BIR Form No. 1604-F with its corresponding Alphalists. With this, it is expected that the new BIR Form No. 1604-C and BIR Form No. 1604-F will be released by the BIR for the taxpayers to use in time for the extended deadline.
The year is about to end but the implementation of the TRAIN law is far from over. As we expect more clarifications and issuances by the BIR, we anticipate that these will be the start of something new that all taxpayers should be prepared for.
Angeline T. Anclote is an Assistant Manager from the Tax Group of KPMG R.G. Manabat & Co. (KPMG RGM&Co.), the Philippine member firm of KPMG International. KPMG RGM&Co. has been recognized as a Tier 1 tax practice and Tier 1 transfer pricing practice by the International Tax Review.
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