A HOUSE leader on Saturday pushed for the passage of a measure granting tax amnesty for all unpaid estate taxes of P3 million at the maximum.
“The proposal provides for a graduated tax rate, which is only a fraction of the property being transferred. The proposed rates under the estate tax amnesty bill are also much lower than those in the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC),” Deputy Speaker Miro Quimbo of Marikina City said in filing his House Bill 3010.
At the Senate, however, Senator Ralph Recto urged the government to come up first with the implementing rules and regulations of the law granting tax breaks and other benefits for persons with disabilities and laws exempting balikbayan boxes before it rolls out its tax proposals.
Quimbo, who chaired the House committee on ways and means in the 16th Congress, said the tax amnesty granted shall cover all unpaid estate taxes as of the time this act shall have taken effect, and those that shall be due within three year henceforth.
“The current policy on estate taxes creates a double whammy: The government is not able to derive revenue from the decedent’s property due to the heirs’ non-payment of taxes; and the heirs are not able to productively use it. Thus, the economy is at a losing end with diminutive tax collection and stagnant properties. It is a stalemate we want to immediately unlock through the proposed bill,” Quimbo said.
Quimbo also cited “complicated scheme of filing estate taxes” as among major reasons for taxpayers’ non-compliance.
Quimbo said that apart from the grief of losing a family member, the heirs are faced with the obligations of complying with the filing of returns and payments, especially for the family home.
Recto, on the other hand, said releasing the long-delayed IRR of Republic Act 10754 (Act Expanding the Benefits and Privileges of Persons with Disability), according to Recto, will allow its provisions to be enjoyed by millions of PWDs.
The law exempts PWDs from all sales taxes on certain goods and services, like transport fares, medicines, medical and dental services and laboratory fees, raising the total discount to 32 percent.
It also grants a P25,000 annual income tax deduction to relatives within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity, who are caring for and living with a PWD.
Signed by then President Benigno Aquino III last March 23 or almost five months ago, the law’s implementation has been stymied by the lack of the implementing rules.
Recto said Malacañang should order the IRR’s immediate release “before conspiracy theorists go to town with the speculation that its release is being delayed to pave the way for the reported delisting of PWD privileges” in the tax reform package it would unveil soon.
Another law facing the same predicament of “being effectively frozen by red tape” is RA 10863, the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act, which raises the tax-exempt value of balikbayan boxes and other personal belongings shipped home by overseas Filipino workers.
The law allows OFWs to send up to three P150,000 worth of tax- and duty-free balikbayan boxes in a year, provided that the goods are not in commercial quantities nor intended for barter or sale.
It further allows Filipinos, who have lived in a foreign country for at least 10 years and are returning to the Philippines, to bring with them, tax-free, personal and household effects valued not more than P350,000.