Gov’t tax reform to grant four tax amnesties – DOF

The government is seeking to grant four different kinds of tax amnesties under its proposed tax reform package, the Finance Department revealed.

In a public consultation with various stakeholders late Wednesday in Makati City, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the proposed tax reform will grant amnesties to real estate taxes, estate taxes, regular taxes, and tax cases.

“We propose to reduce estate tax from 20 percent to 6 percent,” Dominguez said.

While he did not elaborate, Dominguez said the amnesty for tax cases would mean that individuals with pending cases would just have to pay 40 percent of the penalties, or whatever would be agreed upon.

“We can get a legislated authority to settle at say 40 percent or whatever they decide,” he said.

One Patriotic Coalition of Marginalized Nationals (1PACMAN) over the weekend filed a similar measure, seeking to grant immunity from the payment of taxes and civil, criminal, or administrative penalties.

Sought for clarification, Finance Undersecretary and Chief Economist Karl Kendrick T. Chua said the details are still being finalized.

“Secretary says were looking at property taxes, estate taxes, the regular tax (income, value added tax), and one on tax cases… They’re being designed as we speak,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the public consultation.

The DOF on Monday already submitted to Congress the first of the five packages of its proposed tax reform.

“We submitted it last Monday. It is now in the hands of the Congress so we’ll work with them to have it passed as soon as we can in 2017 so people will feel the impact sooner or later,” Chua said.

“Optimistically, we want it passed early next year and then maybe we can have it implemented in the middle of 2017, then the pessimistic is it will be passed later next year and we’ll implement it first time in 2018,” he added.

Under the first package, government revenues are expected to drop by P180 billion, but this is seen to be offset by the increase in excise taxes.

“The one in Congress, the current design, the estimate is that we will lose around P180 billion… but because of the broadening of the VAT and the increase in the excise of oil and we added automobiles, we’ll probably offset that,” he said.

“We’ll probably gain 1 percent of GDP (gross domestic product) — 1 percent by 2018 is I think around almost P200 billion,” he added.

The DOF earlier said it plans to raise the excise tax on gasoline to P10.00 per liter from the current P4.35 per liter, and diesel — which currently has no excise tax — to P6.00 per liter.  — RSJ, GMA News



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