House OKs on 3rd reading bill extending estate tax amnesty by 2 more years

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 15)- The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved on third and final reading a bill that would extend the estate tax amnesty program by another two years.

House Bill No. 7068 seeks to amend Section 6 of Republic Act No. 11213 or the “Tax Amnesty Law” by extending the period of availment of estate tax amnesty to four years from the current two years.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue defines estate tax as a “tax on the right of the deceased person to transmit his/her estate to his/her lawful heirs and beneficiaries at the time of death and on certain transfers, which are made by law as equivalent to testamentary disposition.”

Under the measure, passed on final reading on a vote of 209-0, it will enable those who want to take advantage of the program to have enough time to recover their resources as the pandemic made it difficult for taxpayers to settle their estate tax dues even with amnesty.

RA 11213 was signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte on Feb. 14, 2019 and took effect on May 31 of the same year.

Under the law, the tax amnesty covers the estate of decedents who died on or before Dec. 31, 2017, with or without prior assessments.

Rep. Joey Salceda of Albay's 2nd District and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said in a statement that only less than 24,00 taxpayers availed of the amnesty since the original deadline had been extended four times, with the new deadline set on Dec. 31, 2020.

He added that the low turnout of people availing of the program resulted in earnings of only P1.362 billion out of the potential P6-billion plus.

“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,” said Salceda. “The extension of the estate tax amnesty acknowledges the plain reality that it has become very difficult to process papers because of COVID-19.”