Senate panel OK’s estate tax amnesty extension
THE SENATE Ways and Means Committee has approved a measure extending the deadline to avail of estate tax amnesty by two years.
Senator Pilar Juliana S. Cayetano, chair of the Ways and Means committee, raised the Senate Bill No. 2208 to plenary, which set to amend a Republic Act (RA) No 11213 or the Tax Amnesty Act by extending the availment period to June 14, 2023.
Ms. Cayetano said the travel restrictions imposed during the pandemic affected the filing process for seeking the tax amnesty.
“The Committee deems it appropriate that we extend the period of availment of the estate tax amnesty for another two years, in order to allow Filipinos who have not been able to affordably settle their outstanding tax liabilities during the period, to do so,” she said in her sponsorship speech.
“At the same time, extending the program will also provide the government with additional revenue that will fund priority programs for the benefit of the people,” she added.
Ms. Cayetano also noted that revenue from the estate tax amnesty program is only P2.5 billion so far, lower than the projected P6.28 billion, citing data from the Bureau of Internal Revenue presented at a hearing early this month.
“Our current condition necessitates and justifies the need to pass this measure at this appropriate time. Surely, its enactment can provide economic relief for many Filipinos during this time of global health and economic crisis,” she said.
RA 11213, which took effect on June 15, 2019, provides a one-time opportunity for taxpayers to settle their unpaid estate taxes as of Dec. 31, 2017. The law will expire on June 15.
Ms. Cayetano said the committee removed the requirement for “proof of settlement” to be submitted by the heirs, after expert witnesses at the hearing cited it as a major reason for not availing of the amnesty.
“The Committee has decided, after hearing all the experts, to delete this requirement given that under the laws of succession, ownership is transmitted upon the death of the decedent, whether or not it has been supported by any judicial or extrajudicial form,” she said.
The House of Representatives approved the counterpart measure on third and final reading in September. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas