Tax amnesty a relief amid COVID

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    The Tax Amnesty Act, if further extended, can provide more revenues to the government, as well as relief to taxpayers amid the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) health crisis, the National Tax Research Center (NTRC) said.

    In its study posted on its website, the NTRC looked into the tax implications of Republic Act (RA) No. 11213, also known as the Tax Amnesty Act.

    “One of the advantages of granting tax amnesty is the generation of short-run revenues. In 2019, 14,222 taxpayers availed of tax amnesties under RA 11213. Most of the revenues that were generated from the Act came from the tax amnesty on delinquencies despite smaller number of availers,” the report said.

    “The Tax Amnesty Act, if extended aside from possibly generating more revenues that can be used by the government, can provide tax relief to the taxpayers and enough time to avail of the tax amnesties given this pandemic crisis,” it added.

    In June, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has further extended the deadline on the availment of tax amnesty on delinquencies to year end, to take into consideration ongoing circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    According to BIR revenue memorandum circular no. 61-2020, the deadline was extended to December 31, 2020, from the already earlier revised deadline of June 22.

    The availment period for the tax amnesty on delinquencies started on April 24, 2019.

    The Department of Finance (DOF) previously said that the tax amnesty on delinquencies intends to wipe the slate clean for availing taxpayers, and will help the government unclog administrative and judicial dockets of slow-moving cases.

    The DOF said in an earlier extension on availment that this intends to give taxpayers ample time to settle their tax delinquencies while allowing the BIR to increase its collection from the tax amnesty program.

    Meanwhile, the NTRC also said that the grant of estate tax amnesty will unlock assets still registered under unsettled estates, so that these may be used for commercial or economic activities that would create investments, jobs and taxable transactions.