Press Release
October 10, 2018


Senator Sonny Angara has endorsed for plenary approval a bill seeking a general tax amnesty aimed at encouraging taxpayers to pay correct taxes and raising more revenues to finance crucial government projects.

Under Senate Bill 2059, the proposed amnesty covers all unpaid internal revenue taxes--estate taxes, general taxes and delinquent accounts--due for taxable year 2017 and prior years.

The chairman of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means expressed hope the measure will finally encourage those in the formal and non-formal sectors to legitimize, properly declare, and pay the correct taxes without fear of civil, criminal or administrative penalties.

"Sa totoo lang, mahirap isulong bilang tungkulin ng bawat mamamayan ang magbayad ng wastong buwis, kung ang kasalukuyang sistema ng pangongolekta ay kumplikado, mabagal, at nakalilito," Angara said.

With the amnesty, Angara said he envisions "a fresh start" and that "all parties involved may be absolved and unburdened by the sins of the past."

Under the Senate version, taxpayers can avail of a reprieve from all estate taxes, and instead pay 6% based on the decedent's total net estate.

A similar amnesty will also be extended for all national internal revenue taxes, including value-added tax and excise taxes collected by the Bureau of Customs.

In lieu of the taxes supposed to be paid, only 5% of the total net worth or a minimum tax will be collected.

Those who avail will need to accompany their General Amnesty Tax Return with a notarized Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN). Discounts will also be granted for early availers.

The Senate proposal also covers an amnesty on delinquencies. Under this, taxpayers can avail of 40% of the basic tax for delinquencies and assessments which have become final and executory, 50% for those subject of pending criminal cases, and 60% for cases subject of final and executory judgment by the courts.

Those who avail of the amnesty program will be immune from payment of all taxes and the filing of civil, criminal, and administrative cases and penalties.

Any information and data provided in the tax return and the SALN shall be confidential and shall not be admissible as evidence in any proceeding. Also, the books of accounts and other records of the taxpayer for the years covered by the tax amnesty availed of shall not be examined by the BIR.

To complement the privileges granted in the amnesty, Angara said the DOF and other agencies--including government financial institutions, government-owned and controlled corporations, and local government units--will have the "teeth to aggressively go after those who still would not comply after this final chance."

The measure aims to establish an information management system, and to allow for the automatic exchange of tax information with up to 43 partner-countries.

According to the DOF, the proposal could yield up to P36 billion.

"Patuloy po ang ating kampanya para sa mas maayos na sistema ng pagbubuwis na hindi lang magdadala nang higit pang kita para sa gobyerno, kundi magbibigay ng malaking kaginhawaan para sa mga mamamayan," he concluded.

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