When is late considered late in filing BIR returns?

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If you’re a tax return filer (either a taxpayer, a tax agent or employee), you should always keep in mind the deadlines in filing. You will not want to be slapped with surcharges, interests and compromise penalties (SIC). But when is late considered late by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) for this purpose? Are the returns need to be filed within the regular business hour (i.e. 5 pm) of a given date? Will it make a difference if instead of filing and paying it manually, the taxpayer opt to use, or is using, online filing thru eBIR Forms System or eFPS?

Those concerns are the reason why the BIR issued Revenue Memorandum Circular (RMC) No. 65-2016, dated June 23, 2016 — to clarify the proper due dates of filing of returns and payment of taxes for purposes of imposition of penalties for late filing and/or late payment. Of course, the date of deadline is the same as those fixed in previous issuances but, until what time of the day is what was clarified by the RMC, among others.

Following are the significant matters discussed in RMC No. 65-2016:

For Taxpayers under the Electronic Filing and Payment System (EFPS)

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  • Should be exact dates stated in the law or regulations for filing or payment
  • If deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday or a holiday, deadline is on the next business day
  • Transmission of electronic returns and electronic payment must be completed/made on and actually received by the BIR on or before 12 midnight
  • BIR will issue written advice when EFPS is down, which shall be presented by the taxpayer in case of dispute

It is interesting to note that under the EFPS, filing deadline comes first before the deadline for payment. As such, even when the date of filing and payment of the tax return don’t coincide, the taxpayer will not be penalized, provided that both the deadlines for filing and payment are complied with.

For example, assume that ABC Corporation is required to pay expanded withholding tax return (BIR Form No. 1601-E) thru EFPS and is included in Group E in the industry classification of EFPS filers.  Assume further that it is filing for its January 2016 return.  The deadline for filing is on February 11, 2016, which is 11th day of the following month.  The deadline for payment is on February 15, 2016 which is 15th day of the following month following RR No. 26-2002

Supposing ABC Corporation was able to e-file its BIR Form No. 1601-E on February 10, 2016 but was able to complete the e-payment on February 15, 2016, it is not considered late in filing nor payment provided that it is completed and actually received by the BIR before 12 midnight.

For Taxpayers under the Online eBlR Form System

  • Should be exact dates stated in the law or regulations for filing or payment
  • If deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday or a holiday, deadline is on the next business day
  • Transmission of electronic returns and electronic payment must be completed/made on and actually received by the BIR on or before 12 midnight
  • BIR will issue written advice when Online eBIR Forms System is down, which shall be presented by the taxpayer in case of dispute

Deadline for filing and payment of tax under eBIR Forms System fall on the same date. BIR offices are only open until 5:00pm (or earlier), as well as the banks. Some banks are actually not accepting payments beyond certain cut-off (e.g. 3pm). Thus, this compels tax filers to file earlier. There’s no problem when the tax return filed doesn’t have tax due.

For example, assume that DEF Corporation is required to pay expanded withholding tax return (BIR Form No. 1601-E) thru eBIR Forms System.  Assume further that it is filing for its January 2016 return.  The deadline for filing and payment is on February 10, 2016, which is 10th day of the following month. 

In this case, the return should, be filed and be paid on or before 12:00 midnight, unless the eBIR Form system is down. Although the deadline for filing is until 12:00 midnight, this creates certain problem when the taxpayer has a tax due that needs to be paid. In such a case, the filing needs to be done before the banks’ cut-off time in receiving the payments.

Needless to say, when filing is completed but payment didn’t make the cut-off, it’s considered late and subject to penalties.

For Taxpayers who are Manual Filers or are using the Offline eBlR Forms Package

  • Should be exact dates stated in the law or regulations for filing or payment
  • If deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday or a holiday, deadline is on the next business day

For manual filers both with or without payment, they should be able to complete the filing before the close of the regular business hours. Since they are manually filing, it’s apparent that no one will accept their returns when banks and RDOs are already closed.

If you are a manual filer, consider moving to online modes of filing ang paying your returns. Not only that you have an extended filing deadline compared to manual filing, it’s also more convenient and more efficient. Learn more about eBIR Forms v6.1, Click Here.

It’s good to know that the BIR is giving the online filers (both EFPS and eBIR Forms) until 12 midnight to file (and pay) the tax returns due. But to avoid getting into trouble and being subjected to penalties, we are all encourage to file our returns early. We should not wait until we ran out of time to do this. Remember — “Daig ng maagap ang masikap”.

Let us know what you think. Share us your thoughts! 🙂


Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this article are that of the author and information provided are for general conceptual guidance for public information and are not substitute for expert advice. Contact support@philcpa.org for more information and if you want to avail professional services. Find us on Facebook!



Orlando Calundan is a CPA who has exposures in FS audit of entities in various industries such as real estate, food/restaurants, manufacturing, service organizations and BPOs, automotive, holding/investment companies and more. He also has exposure on internal audit engagements.

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