Estate tax amnesty gets House nod

The measure will generate additional revenues for the government and encourage taxpayers to settle their outstanding estate taxes

The House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading a proposal to grant amnesty in the payment of estate taxes. House Bill No. 4814, or “An Act Granting Amnesty in the Payment of Estate Tax,” is seen to generate additional revenues for the government and encourage taxpayers to settle their outstanding estate taxes, thereby freeing up properties of unsettled estates.

The bill, which was endorsed for plenary approval by the committee on ways and means chaired by Rep. Dakila Carlo Cua (Lone District, Quirino), proposes a tax amnesty program covering estate taxes for the year 2016 and the previous years that have remained unpaid as of December 31, 2016.

The bill grants the following immunities and privileges to taxpayers who avail of the tax amnesty:
-    immunity from the payment of estate taxes, civil, criminal, or administrative penalties under the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, as amended, arising from the failure to pay any and all estate taxes for taxable year 2016 and prior years;
-    the taxpayer’s Estate Tax Amnesty Returns for 2016 and prior years shall not be admissible as evidence in all proceedings that pertain to taxable year 2016 and prior years related to estate settlement cases before any judicial, quasi-judicial, or administrative bodies in which the defendant or respondent, and except for the purpose of ascertaining the gross estate for 2016 and prior years, the same shall not be examined, inquired or looked into by any person or government office; and
-   the books of accounts and other records of the taxpayer for the years covered by the estate tax amnesty availed of shall not be examined.

To avail of the benefits of the tax amnesty, the covered taxpayer shall file with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) an Estate Tax Amnesty Return and pay the six percent of the decedent’s or deceased person’s net estate within two years from the issuance of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the proposed legislation. The IRR shall be promulgated within 30 days after the law becomes effective.

House Bill 4814 is authored by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez (1st District, Davao del Norte), Majority Floor Leader Rodolfo Fariñas (1st District, Ilocos Norte), Rep. Arthur Defensor Jr. (3rd District, Iloilo), Deputy Speaker Romero Quimbo (2nd District, Marikina City), Cua, Reps. Arlene Arcillas (1st District, Laguna), Rose Marie Arenas (3rd District, Pangasinan), Lianda Bolilia (4th District, Batangas), Peter John Calderon (7th District, Cebu), Winston Castelo (2nd District, Quezon City), Eugene Michael De Vera (Party-list, ABS), Jesulito Manalo (Party-list, ANGKLA), Victoria Isabel Noel (Party-list, AN WARAY), Xavier Jesus Romualdo (Lone District, Camiguin), Jose Antonio Sy-Alvarado (1st District, Bulacan), Manuel Zubiri (3rd District, Bukidnon), Marlyn Primicias-Agabas (6th District, Pangasinan), Rodante Marcoleta (Party-list, SAGIP), Raul Del Mar (1st District, Cebu), Leo Rafael Cueva (2nd District, Negros Occidental), and Delphine Gan Lee (Party-list, AGRI).