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Senate OKs tax amnesty bill on third and final reading

GMA News Online logo GMA News Online 11/19/2018 Jimenez, Raffy
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Voting 15-0, the Senate approved on third and final reading Monday the bill seeking a general tax amnesty for all unpaid tax obligations, including estate taxes, general taxes, and delinquent accounts due for taxable year 2017 and prior years.

Under Senate Bill 2059, taxpayers can avail of a reprieve from all estate taxes on covered taxable years and instead pay a rate of 6 percent based on the total net estate.

Those who will avail of the amnesty will need to accompany their General Amnesty Tax Return with a notarized Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN). Discounts will also be granted for early availers.

The bill also included a provision for tax amnesty on delinquencies (TAD) to enhance revenue collection, minimize administrative cost in pursuing tax cases, and de-clog the tax case dockets pending in various courts.

Under the provision on TAD, taxpayers may also go for settling 40 percent of the basic tax for delinquencies and assessments which have become final and executory, or 50 percent when a criminal case is pending in court, or 60 percent in cases that are subject to final and executory judgment by the courts.

Those who will avail of the amnesty program will be immune from payment of all taxes and the filing of civil, criminal and administrative cases and other penalties.

Senator Juan Edgardo Angara, chairman of the Senate ways and means committee and sponsor of the bill, said the BIR has more than P197.57 billion as delinquent accounts covering 2015 and prior years sitting idly in more than 58,600 cases.

“We hope that this measure will encourage those in the formal and non-formal sector to legitimize, properly declare and pay the correct taxes without fear of civil, criminal or administrative penalties,” he said.

“This is our chance to have a fresh start especially in something as important as taxes. As Filipinos seek a government they can trust, let this amnesty serve as another step closer to that end,” he added.

The senator said the proposal could yield up to P36 billion, based on the estimates by the Finance Department.

The House of Representatives has passed its version of the bill at the committee level. — RSJ, GMA News

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