Diokno cheers estate tax amnesty extension
MANILA -The national government collected a total of P7.41 billion from 2019 to the end of March 2023 from close to 134,000 heirs who took advantage of the estate tax amnesty program, according to the Department of Finance (DOF).
Considering this, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno lauded the Senate for approving a bill that extends the estate tax amnesty period by two years or up to June 14, 2025.
“This [extension] will allow errant taxpayers to settle their estate tax liabilities affordably, enable the government to collect additional revenues, and strengthen tax compliance,” Diokno said in a statement.
The finance chief noted that Senate Bill No. 2219 was expected to be signed into law by President Marcos before the second State of the Nation Address (Sona) on July 24.
Aside from extending the time, the bill also amends the original law to also cover the unsettled estates of persons who died on or before May 31, 2023.
“The timely enactment of this measure is crucial, as it will provide much-needed relief to individuals and families facing extraordinary circumstances, while supporting the national government’s efforts to spur development by incentivizing the regularization of assets,” Diokno said.
Further, the bill also allows those who avail themselves of the amnesty program to file estate tax returns electronically or manually. Taxpayers may settle the tax due through any authorized agent bank, revenue district office, or authorized tax software provider.
In addition, the bill streamlines documentary requirements that should be submitted to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and allows payment of outstanding liabilities in two-year installments without civil penalty or interest.
Nonpayment of the estate tax was one the issues raised against Mr. Marcos when he was still a candidate for the highest office in the country last year.
When the counterpart bill at the House of Representatives was going through hearings last April, Rep. France Castro of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers party list group urged the President to lead by example and pay his family’s estate taxes, penalties, and surcharges — a matter already decided by the Supreme Court in 1997 and now involving an estimated P203 billion.
In December 2022, inquirer.net quoted Revenue Commissioner Romero Lumagui Jr. as saying that the agency will study the matter of the Marcos family’s estate tax.
“We will study that and we will make sure that all the actions we do are in accordance with the law,” Lumagui had said.