Senate ratifies bicam report on tax amnesty bill
MANILA, Philippines — The Senate has ratified the bicameral conference committee report on a bill, granting amnesty to individuals who were unable to pay tax obligations including estate taxes, general taxes, and delinquent accounts due for taxable year 2017 and prior years.
There was no objection when Senator Sonny Angara, sponsor of the Tax Amnesty bill, moved to adopt on the floor on Thursday the bicam report.
Once ratified by the Senate and the House of Representatives, the bill will then be transmitted to President Rodrigo Duterte for his signature.
Angara said the bill’s approval is another step “in the long quest towards an efficient and equitable tax system.”
“Let this be known that this measure will overwhelmingly benefit the Filipino taxpayer including the widow, widower, children and families and descendants who can now easily settle the obligations of their deceased loved one’s estate,” he said in a statement.
He added that the measure will give the government, particularly the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Bureau of Customs, an opportunity “start anew and clean up their dockets and focus on their main mandate of collecting funds necessary to power our nation’s growth.”
Through the bill, the government is expected to raise up to P41 billion which will be used to finance infrastructure projects and augment appropriations needed for the social mitigating measures under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law.
Some P500 million will be exclusively used for establishing tax database.
Angara said the bicameral panel agreed to make the tax amnesty bill “pro-taxpayer” that would attract “ordinary citizens who have long wanted to come clean but feared prosecution to finally settle their arrears.”
The panel agreed that taxpayers would be given the option to choose the rate between two percent of total assets or five percent of net worth or a minimum tax. Taxpayers can also avail of a reprieve from all estate taxes, and instead pay 6 percent based on the decedent’s total net estate.
Taxpayers can avail of 40 percent of the basic tax for delinquencies and assessments which have become final and executory, 50 percent for cases subject to final and executory judgment by the courts, and 60 percent for those subject of pending criminal cases.
They will be given a year to avail of the amnesty once the implementing rules and regulations is issued, except for estate tax amnesty where taxpayers will be given two years to avail. /muf
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