THE SENATE on Monday approved on third and final reading a bill expanding the coverage of the estate tax amnesty and extending the period of availment by another two years.
All 24 senators voted to approve Senate Bill No. 2219 which extends the availment period for the estate tax amnesty for two years or from June 15, 2023 to June 15, 2025.
The bill also expands the coverage to include the estates of those who died on or before May 31, 2022.
The current amnesty gives taxpayers a one-time opportunity to settle unpaid tax obligations covering the estates of people who died on or before Dec. 31, 2017.
“Whether their estate taxes have remained unpaid or accrued as of the said date, this extension will provide much-needed relief to our taxpayers, particularly those who have suffered the loss of their loved ones amidst the circumstances brought about by the coronavirus pandemic,” Senate Ways and Means Committee Chairman Sherwin T. Gatchalian said in his sponsorship speech on May 22.
Earlier this month, the House of Representatives approved its own version, which expands the amnesty coverage to include the estates of those who died on or before Dec. 31, 2021.
Once enacted, this would be the second extension of the estate tax amnesty under Republic Act (RA) 11213, which initially ran from 2019 to June 14, 2021. The amnesty period was later extended for two years until June 14, 2023.
Under the bill, the payment of the estate tax may also be done in installment within two years without civil penalty or interest.
The measure also allows taxpayers to pay the amnesty tax either manually or electronically through any authorized agent bank, revenue district office or an authorized tax software provider.
“This measure specifically enumerates the specific list of documentary requirements that should be required by the (Bureau of Internal Revenue) from the availers of the estate tax amnesty, and explicitly excluding the submission of proof of settlement of the estate, whether judicial or extrajudicial,” Mr. Gatchalian said.
Meanwhile, the House approved on third and final reading a measure that defines the crime of tax racketeering and imposes higher fines on violators.
Under House Bill 8144, which will amend the Tax Code, tax racketeering is engaging in any coordinated scheme or operation to evade any tax imposed through the fraudulent use of receipts, returns and other records with a minimum amount of P10 million.
Under the bill, offenders will face fines of up to P10 million, from the current maximum penalty of P100,000.
Offenders also face imprisonment of up to 20 years. — BMDC