Tax amnesty collections reach P4.7B
- Iris Gonzales () - April 28, 2008 - 12:00am

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has so far collected P4.7 billion from the Tax Amnesty Act of 2007, breaching past the agency’s target of P3.5 billion, BIR deputy commissioner Nelson Aspe said over the weekend.

The program will lapse on May 6, or six months after its implementation. Finance Secretary Margarito Teves earlier clarified that the law’s implementation started only in November last year after it was registered with the Office of the National Administrative Registrar at the University of the Philippines Law Center.

Philippine laws take effect 15 days after registration with the center. In the case of the Tax Amnesty Act, the law took effect Nov. 7, 2007.

Prior to the clarification, the BIR had thought that the law already lapsed last March 6.

A Finance official said collections could even exceed P5 billion as there are still several days remaining before the May 6 deadline.

The law immunes a qualified taxpayer from any law suits involving deficient tax payments covering the period 2005 and prior years if he or she pays the tax amnesty fee.

It covers all national internal revenue taxes like income tax, estate tax, donor’s tax and capital gains tax, value-added tax, percentage tax, excise tax and documentary stamp taxes.

Those that are not covered are withholding taxes, taxes passed-on and those that are already collected from the customers for remittance to the BIR.

Cases which have been covered by the compromise program or abatement program of the BIR can no longer avail of the tax amnesty program insofar as the tax subject of the compromise or abatement is concerned.

The period covered is taxable year 2005 and prior years for the said taxes, with or without assessments duly issued and that have remained unpaid as of Dec. 31, 2005.

Under the law, delinquent taxpayers just have to pay a tax amnesty rate of five percent of a taxpayer’s net worth or a fee ranging from P25,000 to P500,000 depending on the net worth.

The BIR, the government’s main revenue earner, is under heavy pressure to raise revenues to help boost state coffers. It has collected only P711.6 billion last year or P54.3 billion lower than the program of P765.9 billion.

But in the first quarter of 2008, the BIR has collected P166.6 billion, higher than its target of P169 billion and its collections in the same period last year of P143.1 billion.

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