Duterte asks Congress to pass general tax amnesty bill lifting bank secrecy
MANILA, Philippines — After vetoing several provisions on the recently-signed Tax Amnesty Act, President Rodrigo Duterte has asked the Congress to pass a general tax amnesty bill that would lift bank secrecy for fraud cases.
Last week, the Palace confirmed that Duterte vetoed several provisions of the recently-signed Tax Amnesty Act, including the general tax amnesty provision.
The measure seeks to provide amnesty for delinquent taxpayers.
Duterte said in his letter to the House of Representatives that a general amnesty without the lifting of bank secrecy for fraud could “create an environment ripe for future tax evasion” and the government will incur “long term substantial revenue loss.”
“Given these, I ask Congress to pass another general tax amnesty bill that includes the lifting of bank secrecy for fraud cases, the inclusion of automatic exchange of information, and safeguards to ensure that asset or net worth declarations are truthful,” Duterte wrote in a letter dated last Thursday, Feb. 14.
“With these provisions, the general tax amnesty will meet both its tax administration and revenue purposes,” he added.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Monday said the President vetoed the general tax amnesty as it could encourage people not to pay taxes.
“Ayaw niya (President Duterte) ng general tax amnesty. Eh kasi nga that will encourage them not to pay taxes in the future,” Panelo said in a press briefing.
Panelo also said Duterte believes that the measure is “prone to abuse” by those who would declare assets or net worth not reflective of their real income.
“He believes that such measure would be prone to abuse by those who would declare assets or net worth not reflective of their real income, in light of present laws mandating confidentiality of all bank deposits,” he said. /je
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