MANILA –The House of Representatives on Monday approved on third and final reading two measures granting amnesty in the payment of estate taxes and simplifying the estate tax rate.
During Monday’s plenary session, House Bill 4814 or the proposed “Estate Tax Amnesty Law” was approved with 216 votes on the affirmative, zero negative and no abstention.
Meanwhile, a total of 219 members voted in favor of House Bill 4815, or an act simplifying the estate tax rate amending for the purpose Section 84 of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC) of 1997, while none opted against it. There was also zero abstention.
Both measures will then be transferred to the Senate for its own deliberations.
HB 4814 seeks to promote the settlement of estates and in turn free-up properties of unsettled estates with the end view of generating financial transactions and stimulating economic activity while increasing tax collection.
Deputy Speaker and Marikina Rep. Romero S. Quimbo, one of the principal authors of the bill, said estate tax amnesty is granted within two years from the issuance of the implementing rules and regulations of this measure at a rate of 6 percent of the decedent’s net estate.
Under the measure, immunities and privileges are provided to amnesty beneficiaries including immunity from the payment of estate tax, and from civil, criminal or administrative penalties.
“The estate tax amnesty instantly resolves the triple deadlock we now have in non-compliance, low tax collection, and idle properties. Even while dealing with bereavement, the heirs are faced with the obligations of complying with the filing of tax returns and substantial payments within a small window of time,” Quimbo said.
“This commonly results in non-compliance, which, accordingly leads to idle properties and low tax collection,” he added.
Quimbo noted the complicated scheme of filing estate taxes is also seen as one of the reasons for taxpayers’ non-compliance.
“With the estate tax amnesty bill, we hope to instantly resolve the impasse in non-compliance, low tax collection, and idle properties. This can be done even while we are working on restructuring the current estate tax rates in NIRC,” he said.
Quimbo cited that 94 percent did not file the required estate tax return after deducting the registered estate taxpayers from the total deaths in 2013.
House committee on ways and means chair and Quirino Rep. Dakila Carlo Cua, author of HB4815, said the measure seeks to create single tax rate of 6 percent on estates based on the value of the net estates.
Under the current law, if the net estate is PHP200,000, the heirs are exempted from estate tax. However, if the net estate is PHP10 million and above, the heirs will pay PHP1.2 million plus 20 percent of the excess of over 10 million.