Gov’t tax take under amnesty program hit P 3.68B as of March

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has, as of end-March, collected an additional P3.68 billion from about 20,000 previously delinquent taxpayers under ongoing amnesty programs for delinquencies and estate taxes, Commissioner Caesar Dulay said. Dulay told the Inquirer that the take from delinquencies amnesty, which was extended up to June 22, had amounted P2.46 billion as of the end of the first quarter.

The first-ever tax amnesty on delinquencies in the country covered all national taxes—capital gains tax, documentary stamp tax, donor’s tax, excise, income tax, percentage tax, value-added tax and withholding tax—for taxable years 2017 and earlier.It began in April last year and was supposed to end on April 23, but the BIR had to extend the deadline three times—to May 23, June 8 and the latest cutoff date of June 22—as the government had prolonged the enhanced community quarantine imposed in Luzon and other parts of the country to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Dulay said he was hopeful that the extended deadline would allow more taxpayers to apply and avail themselves of the amnesty.

Under Republic Act No. 11213, or the Tax Amnesty Act of 2019 signed by President Duterte in February last year, delinquencies and assessments that have become final and executory will have an amnesty rate of 40 percent of the basic tax assessed.

A higher rate of 50 percent will be applied to tax cases still subject to the courts’ final judgment.

An amnesty rate of 60 percent will apply to pending criminal cases with criminal information filed with the Department of Justice or the courts for tax evasion and other criminal offenses under the Tax Code, with or without assessments duly issued.In the case of withholding agents that withheld taxes but did not remit them to the BIR, they will pay 100 percent of the basic tax assessed.

As for estate tax amnesty, collections reached P1.23 billion as of March, Dulay said.

RA No. 11213 provided that for deaths registered on or before Dec. 31, 2017, the government will collect only 6 percent of the decedent’s total net estate at the time of death.

The two-year amnesty giving heirs of the deceased a reprieve from their unpaid estate taxes started in May last year.

But the actual collections from these two amnesty programs so far were dwarfed by earlier Department of Finance (DOF) estimates—the DOF last year projected additional revenues from estate tax amnesty to hit P6.28 billion, while the amnesty on delinquencies would generate a bigger P21.26 billion.

While RA No. 11213 paved the way for delinquencies and estate tax amnesties, Mr. Duterte had vetoed general tax amnesty pending the lifting of bank secrecy for tax purposes and automatic exchange of information.

If the President did not veto the general tax amnesty provision, DOF estimates had shown that another P6.82 billion would be collected from delinquent taxpayers.

But Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III had defended the President’s veto on general tax amnesty, saying that doing so without safeguards “would only lead to revenue losses for the government and encourage tax evasion.” INQ

Source: Inquirer

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