THE House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading the proposed measure extending the availment period of the estate tax amnesty from two to four years to give taxpayers economic relief amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Congressmen unanimously approved House Bill (HB) No. 7068 which seeks to amend Republic Act (RA) No. 11213 or the Tax Amnesty Act of 2019.
Albay Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda, chair of the House committee on ways and means who sponsored HBN 7068 under committee report 455, said the proposal will allow the transfer of long unsettled estates so these can be productive.
The original deadline for the availment and payment of estate taxes was on April 23 which has since been extended four times, with the new deadline set until December 31, 2020.
Salceda said the House wants to extend the deadline after only 23,911 taxpayers were able to avail of the amnesty, earning only P1.362 billion out of the expected more than P6 billion in revenues.
“Estate tax amnesty extension, as far as it releases land for productive use and raises revenues for the government, should be considered a stimulus bill. The extension of the estate tax amnesty acknowledges the plain reality that it has become very difficult to process papers because of COVID-19. We thank the House leadership for its support for this measure,” he said.
Majority leader Martin Romualdez, one of the authors of the measure, said that because of the pandemic, “people will have extreme difficulty in paying their taxes much more in settling their estate tax dues even with this tax amnesty program.”
RA 11213 was signed into law by President Duterte last February 14, 2019.
Under the law, the government provides the taxpayers a one-time opportunity to settle estate tax obligations through an estate tax amnesty program that gives reasonable tax relief to estates with outstanding estate tax liabilities.
The law provides that taxpayers who avail of the estate tax amnesty enjoy immunity from the payment of estate taxes, civil, criminal, and administrative cases and penalties.
Failure to avail of the estate tax amnesty means that previously suspended late estate tax penalties will be applicable, and the costs to transfer estates will be very costly.
The estate tax amnesty covers the estate of decedents who died on or before December 31, 2017, with or without assessments duly issued to them and whose estate taxes have remained unpaid or have accrued as of December 31, 2017.
Under the law, the executor or administrator of the estate, the legal heirs, transferees or beneficiaries, who wish to avail of the estate tax amnesty shall do so within two years from the effectivity of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of RA 11213.
The bill amends Section 6 of the Tax Amnesty Act of 2019 to read, “The executor or administrator of the estate, or if there is no executor or administrator appointed, the legal heirs, transferees or beneficiaries, who wish to avail of the Estate Tax Amnesty shall within four (4) years from the effectivity of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of this Act, file with the Revenue District Office of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, which has jurisdiction over the last residence of the decedent, a sworn Estate Tax Amnesty Return, in such forms as may be prescribed in the IRR.”