MANILA -- The Senate Committee on Ways and Means on Friday passed the proposal to extend the estate tax amnesty until 2025.
The measure is a combination of the versions of the House of Representatives and the Senate, which aim to amend Republic Act No. 11213 on estate tax exemption, which will end on June 14.
Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, chairman of the panel, explained that the bill’s main objective is to consider the “poorest of the poor” who have no resources to pay their estate tax.
“Isa sa mga ilalagay natin sa batas yung installment payments. So pwede silang mag-installment after two years, para hindi biglaan yung kanilang pagbabayad. Pero ang kagandahan dito, pwede nilang umpisahan ang pagbabayad, then after two years, maililipat na nila sa pangalan nila yung lupa,” Gatchalian explained.
But before hurdling the committee, the Department of Finance projected an additional P2.5 billion revenue collection with an extended estate tax amnesty.
Still, Gatchalian and Sen. Nancy Binay questioned the wisdom behind the government’s intention to make another estate tax exemption, considering that its P6 billion collection target was surpassed by its actual collection of P7 billion.
The bill is being pushed in consideration to the family of those who died during the pandemic.
“The intention there is really to give chance to our taxpayers or heirs that were not really able to settle to settle their taxes during the pandemic,” Finance Undersecretary Dakila Elteen Napao explained.
Napao meanwhile explained there were 61,000 who availed of estate tax amnesty which contributed a total of P4.8 billion.
But an extended period registered 72,000 availers contributing a total of P2.5 billion.
Still, Binay pressed for actual figures from the DOF and BIR as to what they actually expected in the estate tax extension that is about to expire this June.
Suzette Sy, president of the Tax Management Association of the Philippines (TMAP) explained there are still a lot of people who still want to avail of tax amnesty but do not have enough resources to do so.
Gatchalian meanwhile said they are looking at extending the reduction of documentary requirements.
MARCOS ESTATE TAX
In the same hearing, Sen. Robin Padilla grilled the BIR if part of the bill’s objective really is to give the Marcos family an opportunity to avail of the estate tax amnesty in the event that they would opt to settle the P203 billion debt to the government.
The Supreme Court has already ruled with finality the Marcoses’ estate tax obligation case.
“Totoo po ba ang sinasabi ng mga peste na ito na ang makikinabang dito ang Pangulong Marcos?” Padilla asked.
“Ang mga batas naman po natin sa tax extension ng estate tax amnesty from sa unang batas natin RA 11213, (RA) 11569 nakalagay naman po doon ang mga restrictions, limitations ng pag-avail. And I’m sure the present bill will also provide the limitations, the restrictions... we will evaluate the application based on what is provided in the law,” BIR Assistant Commissioner Larry Barcelo said.
“It will depend on what will be the final version of the bill, and what would be the contents of the bill as to the restrictions and limitations. And what would be the application of the applicant based on the bill. Then we will evaluate,” Barcelo added.
Gatchalian likewise clarified the matter.
“Ginagawa natin to for our taxpayers, ngayon for our poorest of the poor taxpayers and land owners... Wala namang political push for this,” Gatchalian said.
The estate tax amnesty bill will be referred to the plenary next week with an aim to be passed on third reading before the session’s sine die adjournment in June, Gatchalian said.+