House approves estate amnesty bill
Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) - September 17, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved on third and final reading a bill extending the estate tax amnesty period by another two years as a form of economic relief during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 302-member chamber approved House Bill 7068 on third reading in a 209-0 vote.

Administration lawmakers overwhelmingly approved House Bill 7068 which seeks to amend the Tax Amnesty Act of 2019 (Republic Act 11213), providing economic relief to individuals who lost their jobs as a result of the global pandemic.

“We thank our colleagues for supporting the passage of this very important measure,” House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez said, noting that people are having “extreme difficulty in paying their taxes” due to the recession as a result of the health crisis.

Rep. Joey Salceda of Albay, who sits as chairman of the House ways and means committee, also lauded the passage of the bill, saying the “estate tax amnesty acknowledges the plain reality that it has become very difficult to process papers because of Covid-19.”

“We will work with the Bureau of Internal Revenue and other agencies to enable more virtual avenues for documentary processing to ease taxpayer experience,” the Bicolano legislator said.

“The committee has already been collaborating with the BIR on its digitalization efforts. We will continue this work, which we believe will help make the tax amnesty extension more effective and meaningful,” Salceda said.

“Rest assured that the committee will continue to work on reforms that benefit the Filipino taxpayer and help fund our efforts for Covid-19 response and recovery. The approval of the estate tax amnesty extension is a win-win for all stakeholders,” he said.

HB 7068 will enable those who want to take advantage of the amnesty program to have more time to recoup their resources and get back on their feet so they can still apply and pay their estate tax dues.

The authors said this is the reason why everyone who has outstanding estate tax liabilities as of December  2017 “is encouraged to take advantage of this excellent and rare opportunity offered by the government.”

RA 11213 was signed into law by President Duterte in February 2019.

Under the law, the government will provide the taxpayers a one-time opportunity to settle their estate tax obligations through a tax amnesty program that gives reasonable relief to estates with outstanding estate tax liabilities.

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