climate change

House approves tax amnesty bill

Mara Cepeda
House approves tax amnesty bill
With approval from both houses of Congress, the tax amnesty bill will now go to the bicameral conference committee

MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives approved a bill that would grant a one-time opportunity for Filipinos to settle their tax obligations. 

On Tuesday, November 20, lawmakers approved House Bill (HB) No. 8554 on 3rd and final reading with a vote of 213-7-0. 

The measure seeks to provide amnesty for estate taxes, national internal revenue taxes, and tax delinquencies. 

HB 8554 would grant amnesty for all national internal revenue taxes for taxable year 2017 and prior years. A taxpayer would only have to pay an amnesty tax rate of 2% based on his or her total assets as of December 31, 2017, as declared in his or her Statement of Total Assets. 

The measure would also allow a person to be exempt from paying the estate taxes on the property of a deceased loved one for taxable year 2017 and prior years. A  taxpayer who wishes to avail of the amnesty must pay an estate amnesty tax at the rate of 6% based on the deceased’s total net estate at the time of death. 

The House bill would also grant tax amnesty on delinquencies, which would decongest the dockets of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, regional trial courts, Court of Tax Appeals, and the Supreme Court for cases involving:

  • Delinquent taxes and assessments which have become final and executory
  • Tax cases subject of final and executory judgment by the courts
  • Pending criminal cases with the Department of Justice or the courts for tax evasion and other criminal offenses under Chapter II, Title X of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997

In her sponsorship speech, House committee on ways and means chairperson Estrellita Suansing said HB 8554 would give erring taxpayers a chance to “come forward, start with a clean slate, and be 100% tax-compliant in the future.”

“For both formal and informal sectors, they will be absolved by settling all their undeclared assets and previous unpaid taxes without fear of civil, criminal, or administrative penalties,” said Suansing.

The Senate already approved its version of the bill on Monday, November 19. This means the bill will now go to the bicameral conference committee, where the conflicting provisions of the two versions will be reconciled. – Rappler.com

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.