THE proposed two-year new extension of the amnesty on estate taxes is expected to benefit at least one million Filipino families, Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez said Wednesday.
Speaker Romualdez said the number of potential beneficiaries was supplied by concerned agencies during the House deliberations on the extension proposal, contained in House Bill (HB) No. 7909, of which the Speaker is principal author.
Republic Act (RA) No. 11956 grants Filipinos an extension until June 14, 2025 to fulfill their estate tax obligations after the law expired last June 14. Last Tuesday, the measure lapsed into law.
He said the proposed new extension would give beneficiaries enough time to avail themselves of the amnesty and lower tax rates so they could settle their estate tax obligations and use the properties and
other assets they have inherited from their dead loved ones.
“Bumabawi pa lamang ang karamihan sa Covid-19 pandemic at napaso na ang amnesty deadline na isang beses nagkaroon ng ekstensiyon kaya kailangan ng panibagong batas dito na pakikinabangan ng maraming pamilyang Pilipino,” Speaker Romualdez, head of the 312-member House of Representatives, stressed.
He added that target beneficiaries include legal heirs, and estate executors and administrators.
The Speaker stressed that the payment of estate taxes would not only result in additional tax revenue for the government but in the faster distribution and use of inherited properties like land as well.
“Magbubunga ng kaunlaran ang paglinang sa mga ari-arian na hindi lamang pakikinabangan ng mga pamilyang nagmamay-ari kundi maging ng buong komunidad,” the Speaker said.
The sale and/or development of those properties would generate income, jobs and economic activities, he said.
The Speaker appealed to intended beneficiaries to take advantage of the projected new extension.
He also urged the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to simplify the amnesty application procedure and allow online filing, especially for heirs who are overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
He said the pandemic and the financial and economic difficulties it had caused made it hard for thousands of heirs, especially those in the provinces, to take advantage of the benefits the law, RA 11213, or the Tax Amnesty Act, enacted on February 14, 2019.
“They have already suffered enough because of the pandemic. Let us not make the situation more difficult for them by giving them more time to avail themselves of those benefits,” he said.
The House had approved the estate tax amnesty extension proposal by an overwhelming vote of 259.
Under RA No. 11213, beneficiaries had until June 15, 2021 to avail apply for amnesty.
The law covered the estates of persons who died on or before December 31, 2017, with or without duly issued assessments, and whose estate taxes have remained unpaid or have accrued as of the same date.
The law offers those taking advantage of amnesty immunity from civil, criminal, and administrative cases and penalties under the 1997 Tax Code.
The Covid-19 pandemic prompted Congress to amend the law in June 2021 to provide for a two-year extension up to June 14, 2023, embodied in RA No. 11569.