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Saturday, March 2, 2024

Salceda: 1m families to benefit from estate tax amnesty extension

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House Ways and Means chairman Albay Rep. Joey Salceda said HB 7909, which extends the Estate Tax Amnesty for another two years, is expected to benefit about one million families.

HB7909, which postpones the Estate Tax Amnesty deadline from June 14 this year to June 14, 2025, was approved by the House of Representatives on second reading on May 11, by voice vote.

“I estimate as much as 920,000 Filipino families still have pending estates to settle,” Salceda said.

In his sponsorship remarks at the Committee on Rules, Salceda explained that the idea is to transfer estates more efficiently and more expeditiously, so that their value can be unlocked for better economic use. 
“As blunt as this sounds, the dead cannot use or optimize assets. That task falls solely on the living,” he said.

If enacted into law, the measure would represent the second extension of the estate tax amnesty under RA 11213, which initially ran from 2019 to June 14, 2021. RA 11569, which was passed by the previous Congress, had extended the amnesty period again by two years to June 14, 2023.

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The proposal also expands the coverage of amnesty-eligible estates to those whose descendants died on December 31, 2021, from the current December 31, 2017 coverage.

Salceda explained that “economic recovery – especially expanding productivity – remains as this Congress’s top priority. Productivity, of course, depends on capital assets – especially land. The more easily assets can be passed on to their productive users, the better it will be for the economy as a whole.”

“As many of you know, unsettled estates can leave land and other assets idle and unused for years if not decades. That is why, when the Estate Tax Amnesty was first enacted and then extended, some 133,860 individuals availed of the program from 2019 to 2023, bringing about P7.4 billion in collection,” he said.

Salceda also cited the difficulty of settling estates, as families tend to prioritize the expenses of funeral services and unpaid medical bills upon the death of a family member.

“This is especially difficult given the fact that you have to settle an estate right after losing a loved one. And, if it takes them too long, they incur additional penalties, making it very difficult to actually settle estate tax obligations. That is the point of the 6% unitary rate without penalties or surcharges,” he added.

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