taxes

House passes bill extending estate tax amnesty by 2 years

Mara Cepeda
The proposed measure aims to help Filipinos who have been unable to deal with their taxes because of the COVID-19 pandemic

The House of Representatives on Tuesday, September 15, approved a bill that seeks to extend the estate tax amnesty period by two years, or until December 31, 2022.

House Bill (HB) No. 7068 was approved on 3rd and final reading with a vote of 209-0-0.

The measure – which does not have a Senate version yet – aims to provide economic relief to Filipinos who have been unable to deal with their taxes due to the coronavirus pandemic. (READ: [OPINION] Taxes and the coronavirus pandemic: An open letter to lawmakers)

If passed into law, the bill would amend Republic Act No. 11213 or the Tax Amnesty Act of 2019, which grants the public a one-time offer of significantly reduced rates for previous tax delinquencies. 

RA 11213 allots two years from the effectivity of the law’s implementing rules and regulations for the executor or administrator of the estate, or his or her legal heirs, to avail of the estate tax amnesty.

The current deadline is until December 31, 2020. If HB 7068 becomes a law, the deadline would be extended to December 31, 2022.  (READ: #AskTheTaxWhiz: How do I avail of estate tax amnesty?)

House committee on ways and means chairperson Joey Salceda, who sponsored HB 7068 in the plenary, said only 23,911 persons have so far applied for estate tax amnesty.

“Estate tax amnesty extension, as far as it releases land for productive use and raises revenues for the government, should be considered a stimulus bill. The extension of the estate tax amnesty acknowledges the plain reality that it has become very difficult to process papers because of COVID-19,” Salceda said in a statement. 

The 3 principal authors of the bill – House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez, Tingog Sinirangan Representative Yedda Romualdez, and Zamboanga Sibugay 1st District Representative Wilter Wee Palma II – see their measure as way to help Filipinos during the COVID-19 crisis.

“It’s just unfortunate that the Philippines is not spared from the ill-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, wherein many people lost their jobs
and folded up their businesses…. The people lost precious period of time and possible sources of income in order to avail of this tax amnesty program of the government,” they said in a joint statement. – 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.