Mary Grace Padin (The Philippine Star) – November 15, 2018 – 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Finance (DOF) said yesterday it would appeal for the legislature to retain the exchange of information and bank secrecy provisions under the proposed tax amnesty bill.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez made the statement after the Senate approved on second reading its version of the general tax amnesty bill, which scrapped the proposed amendments on the Bank Secrecy Law.
The Senate also removed the provisions on the automatic exchange of information between the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and foreign tax authorities pursuant to treaties or international agreements with other countries.
“We will push to reinstate,” Dominguez said.
“We trust that the Legislature will recognize the necessity of strengthening the law to enhance the administration’s ability to enforce the tax laws which were passed by them in the first place,” he said.
According to Dominguez, the automatic exchange of tax data and lifting of bank secrecy law are estimated to generate P15 billion in additional revenue for the government.
The tax amnesty bill is part of Package 1B of the Duterte administration’s Comprehensive Tax Reform Program (CTRP).
The bill aims to enhance revenue administration and tax collection by granting an amnesty on all unpaid internal revenue taxes imposed by the national government.
Last Monday, the House ways and means committee approved its own version of the bill, which includes general amnesty, estate amnesty and amnesty on delinquencies.
Under the House version of the bill, tax delinquents may get immunities and pay an amnesty rate of two percent based on their total assets as of Dec. 31, 2017.
The bill also proposes a estate tax amnesty rate of six percent based on the decedent’s total net estate at the time of death. It also pushes for a 40 percent basic tax on delinquent taxes and assessments which have become final and executory.
Aside from tax amnesty, Package 1B involves adjustments in the Motor Vehicle Users Charge.
Other packages under the CTRP are also pending in Congress, including Package 2 on corporate income tax and fiscal incentives, Package 2 Plus on tobacco, mining and alcohol taxes, and Package 3 on property valuation.