Gov't urged to consider tax amnesty

By Paolo Romero, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jan 04 2014 02:32 AM | Updated as of Jan 04 2014 10:32 AM

MANILA, Philippines - With no new taxes on the horizon, the government should consider a tax amnesty to raise revenues and stabilize its fiscal position, a House leader said yesterday.

In raising the proposal, Deputy Speaker and Isabela Rep. Giorgidi Aggabao cited a recent report from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) on some P300 billion in uncollected taxes.

He said with such a large amount of uncollected taxes, “imposing new or higher taxes would be inadvisable.”

“A tax amnesty for the delinquent accounts may be worth considering,” Aggabao said. “Even just a fraction of the P300-billion tax collectibles will amount to a sizable fund that may be exclusively earmarked for Super Typhoon Yolanda rehabilitation,” he said.

Marikina City Rep. Romero Quimbo, chairman of the House ways and means committee, earlier said the administration should reconsider its no new tax policy, or at least restructure its tax system in certain industries to sustain government expenditures as well as the country’s growth.

The administration, making good its 2010 promise, has not imposed new taxes except those on liquor and cigarette or the so-called sin products.

Quimbo, in a statement, said “there remain risks and uncertainties in the global economy, uncertainties in investments supposed to be coming into the country, and even the environment.”

“Do we need new taxes? Maybe, but at the very least, we need to assess our tax system in some sectors because actual national expenses are not always predictable,” the Marikina lawmaker said.