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Tax Amnesty Program House Bill 7105
« on: February 16, 2018, 05:37:56 PM »
By Joann Villanueva February 16, 2018, 4:37 pm

MANILA -- The Finance department supports House Bill 7105, which pushes for a tax amnesty program, in a bid to help the government collect taxes easily.

The bill, which involves Part B of Package 1 of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act, is now being deliberated on by the House Committee on Ways and Means. Aside from amnesty for unpaid taxes in 2017 and prior years, the same bill eyes the relaxation of the Bank Secrecy Law.

The proposed bill is expected to be approved within the first quarter of this year.

“In principle we support it not because we need the money at this point but because we want a complete database of taxpayers and their networth level so that in the future it will be easier for us to collect more taxes in a more efficient manner,” Finance Assistant Secretary Mark Dennis Joven said.

The Department of Finance (DOF), under the proposed tax reform program, is pushing for a tax amnesty in a bid to improve collections and correct inequities in the past.

Asked whether pending tax evasion cases will be included in the tax amnesty, Joven said a Senate bill on the same issue exclude pending cases.

“But we are studying whether or not to include them because there are a lot of pending cases which will take a long time to resolve,” he said, citing that the Finance department wants to make sure that the government will not be disadvantaged if these cases are settled.

On the interest to be slapped on the uncollected taxes, the Finance official said they are still considering the proposal for an 8 percent interest, which he said is already on a high side.

He said the last tax amnesty program only sets a 5 percent amnesty on networth.

“Compliance was really low so we need to consider that as well…so probably not 8 percent.”

The last time the government had a tax amnesty program was in 2008 wherein about PHP13 billion was collected.

Earlier, Finance Undersecretary Karl Chua said they expect the collection from the proposed tax amnesty program of the Duterte government to double the amount of the previous amnesty program since domestic growth has also doubled.

Asked for the expected collections once the current proposal is approved, Joven said this still depends on taxpayers’ acceptance of the rules. (PNA)

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