MANILA — Any tax amnesty measure of the Duterte government, eyed for implementation in 2018, will start with estate taxes.
Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said he agrees with Budget Secretary Benjamin
Diokno’s timeline of tax amnesty implementation next year but clarified that “we haven’t discussed it yet”.
The proposed tax amnesty program, eyed to bring in additional revenues for the government, is part of the proposed tax reform program, the first package of which has been approved by the House of Representatives and is still being deliberated by the Senate.
Economic managers are confident that the proposed tax reform program will be passed before the end of the year for the tax amnesty measure, among others, to be put in place.
Dominguez said they have calculated how much would be gained from the tax amnesty program but noted that it will be done in tranches.
“We haven’t really determined yet but certainly, I think, we will start with the estate taxes,” he said.
Finance Undersecretary Antonette Tionko said the proposed estate tax amnesty program needs Congress’ approval even though the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has some power to give amnesty.
“The BIR is certain that they may need surcharge… Generally, amnesty needs legislation but there are ways to do it administratively,” she said.
Tionko added that the proposed amnesty measure gives taxpayers who have pending cases a chance to avail of the program.
“There are a lot of taxpayers who can’t pay because the interest is 20 percent per annum… You have to put it in the law that they can avail (of the tax amnesty),” she added.