BIR tightens tax reins, ups estate ante to P50B

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07:26 PM September 1st, 2013

By: Michelle V. Remo, September 1st, 2013 07:26 PM

The Bureau of Internal Revenue will strictly enforce the rules governing estate taxes as it sets an ambitious collection goal of P50 billion by 2016.

According to BIR Commissioner Kim Henares, stricter enforcement of the estate tax is a key action plan that will enable the agency to reach its medium-term revenue goal.

In applying the rules, the BIR will have to coordinate with banks to get information on the wealth of a deceased person, Henares said.

The Bank Secrecy law, which prohibits the divulging of information related to deposits and assets entrusted to banks, does not apply to dead people nor to cases involving the need to collect appropriate estate tax, she stressed.

Also, the BIR will need to strengthen its ties with the National Statistics Office, which provides updates on people who have died and the property they pass on to their heirs, she said.

“We will strictly monitor the transfer of estate to collect the tax due. We are targeting to collect P50 billion [from now] up to 2016,” Henares told reporters.

The estate tax refers to the duty imposed on a deceased person’s beneficiaries. Henares said most people tend to cheat in settling their estate dues.

The BIR’s annual estate tax collection stands at about P1 billion, an amount she described to be negligible. The only exception was in 2012, Henares said, when one person, a foreigner whom she did not identify, paid P1 billion in estate tax, boosting the government’s take to P2 billion.

To attain its P50-billion goal by 2016, the BIR should collect P12.5 billion a year.

The Tax Code states that the estate tax is computed based on the net value of an estate. An estate worth below P200,000 is not covered by the tax.

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