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House panel approves tax amnesty but sets 3 conditions

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

The House committee on ways and measure has approved a consolidated measure that seeks to grants a general tax amnesty of one year on all unpaid national internal revenue taxes.

Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, panel chair said the proposed tax amnesty is not limited to, income tax, withholding tax, capital gains tax, donor’s tax, value-added tax (VAT), percentage tax, excise tax and documentary stamp tax collected by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and Bureau of Customs for taxable year 2018.

According to Salceda, the general tax amnesty bill “addresses the President’s concerns and also complies with international standards for financial accountability.”

“2020 will be a year of reforms to make the financial system more accountable and more transparent, so that we can join the community of nations with credible financial institutions,” said Salceda.

The consolidated version of the tax amnesty bills also contains stronger anti-fraud measures following President Rodrigo Duterte’s request that there be a lifting of bank secrecy for fraud cases, provision for the automatic exchange of information (AEOI) and safeguards to ensure that asset or net worth declarations are truthful.

Last year, Duterte signed the Tax Amnesty Act on February 14, 2019, granting Estate Tax Amnesty and Tax Amnesty on Delinquencies but vetoed Title III, or the General Tax Amnesty by virtue of Republic Act Number 11213.

The President vetoed the General Tax Amnesty Act until the Congress provided for a lifting of bank secrecy for fraud cases, AEOI, and safeguards to ensure truthful net worth and asset declarations.

“Hindi po pwedeng libreng amnesty. Ang kapalit po ng general tax amnesty, accountability. The State cannot forgive without conditions. Hindi naman pwedeng nagtaksil sa’yo, tapos papatawarin mon ang di nangangakong magbabago na.

“An unconditional amnesty would be free money to tax evaders na aminado na nga, kaya nag-aavail. Dapat may kapalit,” he added.

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