“My panel has approved the tax amnesty measure to generate additional revenues,” lone Quirino Rep. Dakila Cua, chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, said in reference to House Bill 3832 principally authored by House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez.
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Tax Amnesty Bill passes House committee
Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) - September 10, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A key committee of the House of Representatives has approved the proposed Tax Amnesty Bill whose objective is to help mitigate the skyrocketing prices of basic goods.

“My panel has approved the tax amnesty measure to generate additional revenues,” lone Quirino Rep. Dakila Cua, chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, said in reference to House Bill 3832 principally authored by House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez.

Cua said they endorsed for plenary approval the Suarez bill, which aims to enhance revenue administration and tax collection by granting amnesty for  all unpaid internal revenue taxes imposed by the government.

“Instead of speeding up the passage of the second package of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion, we must prioritize the passage of the Tax Amnesty Bill,” Suarez, a representative of Quezon province, said earlier.

“Delayed and reduced collection is a much better alternative to no collection at all,” he said. 

Suarez has been calling on his House colleagues to pass the Tax Amnesty Bill to mitigate the impact of soaring prices.

“The bill would surely boost the financial capability of the government. With this, we should not give priority on the passage of TRAIN 2 because if the economy is not good due to inflation, a new tax amnesty measure is definitely not bad for the people,” he said.

House Deputy Speaker Rep. Raneo Abu said the estate tax amnesty which is part of the general tax amnesty bill, “will be a big help in declogging and updating of real property records/titles.”

“This will promote the interest of heirs in developing inherited real properties. This will also boost the financial position of local government units,” said Abu, a congressman from Batangas.

Suarez insisted the government should give the tax-saddled Filipinos a break. 

He said that the implementation of tax amnesty under Republic Act 9480 that covered 2005 and “prior years” during the presidency of now Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo actually netted P5.9 billion in “added revenue.”

“It accounted for two percent of the total income taxes collected. It also increased the number of registered taxpayers by 20,629 as reported by the Bureau of Internal Revenue,” Suarez said.

As it is now, HB 3832 – An Act Granting Tax Amnesty on All Unpaid Internal Revenue Tax Liabilities – proposes to cover a 10-year “taxable period” from Jan. 2006 to June 2016, or half of Arroyo’s nine-year presidency and the entire six-year term of ex-president Aquino.

“It will provide a clean slate for delinquent taxpayers and will encourage taxpayers especially low-income and middle-income earners, professionals and even overseas Filipino workers to avail of this program and register with the BIR,” Suarez said.

“In effect, this will improve taxpayers’ compliance to national tax policies, increase revenue collection and reduce corruption,” he said. “Let’s give another chance to Filipino taxpayers who are still willing to settle their tax obligations.”

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