The Tax Amnesty Act or Package 1B of the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program complements the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act (TRAIN). It lets errant taxpayers affordably settle their outstanding tax liabilities, allowing for a “fresh start,” while also providing the government with additional revenues for its priority infrastructure and social programs. At the same time, it signals the start of a more aggressive tax enforcement campaign by tax authorities.
The estate tax amnesty unravels long unsettled estates due to non-payment of estate taxes, and ensures a proper mechanism for its transfer.
The tax amnesty on delinquencies allows previously excluded taxpayers (i.e., those charged under the Run After Tax Evaders program, taxpayers with tax delinquencies) to take advantage of a lower rate to settle their obligations, and creates an opportunity to unclog the administrative and judicial dockets of slow-moving cases.
Republic Act No. 11213
signed into law on 14 February 2019 (with line veto)
Package 1B is a combination of two House bills and a Senate bill. Originally passed by the House of Representatives (HOR) as an estate tax amnesty measure, Package 1B has evolved to include provisions on the general tax amnesty and the tax amnesty on delinquency.
In passing RA 11213, the President vetoed the grant of general tax amnesty due to lack of safeguards against tax evasion. He calls for the passage of another general tax amnesty bill that provides for the lifting of bank secrecy rules for fraud cases, the inclusion of automatic exchange of information, and safeguards to ensure that asset or net worth declarations are truthful.
He also vetoed provisions under estate tax amnesty such as the one-time declaration and settlement of estate taxes on properties subject to multiple unsettled estates, and the presumption of correctness of the estate tax amnesty returns.
Salient Features and Provisions
Estate tax amnesty
Estate of decedents who died on or before 31 December 2017.
Six percent based on the decedent’s total net estate at the time of death.
Minimum estate tax amnesty rate
P5,000 if the value of the allowable deductions exceeds the value of the gross estate.
Immunity and privilege
The availing estate is granted immunity from the payment of all estate taxes, as well as any increments and additions thereto, arising from the failure to pay any and all estate taxes for the taxable year 2017 and prior years, and from all appurtenant civil, criminal, and administrative cases and penalties under the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC) of 1997, as amended.
The following cases are not covered by the estate tax amnesty: (i) those under the jurisdiction of the Presidential Commission on Good Governance (PCGG); (ii) those involving unexplained wealth; (iii) those involving violations of the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA); (iv) those involving tax evasion and other criminal offenses under the NIRC, as amended; and (v) those involving frauds, illegal exactions and transactions, and malversation of public funds and property under the Revised Penal Code.
Tax amnesty on delinquencies
Coverage and rate
All national internal revenue taxes collectible by the BIR and the BOC for taxable year 2017 and prior years, falling under the types of delinquencies below:
|Type of delinquency||Amnesty taxes
(% of basic tax assessed)
|Final and executory delinquencies and assessments;||40|
|Tax cases subject to final and executory judgment by the courts; and||50|
|Pending criminal cases with the Department of Justice or the courts for tax evasion and other criminal offenses under Chapter II of Title X and Section 275 of the NIRC of 1997, as amended;||60|
|Withholding tax agents with respect to unremitted withheld taxes.||100|
Immunities and privileges
Those who avail are given the following:
- immunity from the payment of all the balance of the basic, as well as increments and additions thereto, and all appurtenant civil, criminal, and administrative cases and penalties under the NIRC of 1997, as amended;
- termination of the criminal case and the corresponding civil or administrative case, if applicable;
- immunity from all suits or actions, including payment of said delinquency or assessment, as well as additions thereto, and from all appurtenant civil, criminal, administrative cases, and penalties under the NIRC of 1997, as amended; and
- cancellation of any notice of levy, attachments and/or warrants of garnishment.
Confidentiality and non-use of information
- All tax amnesty returns, STA, or SALN filed under the amnesty are confidential in nature and shall not be used in any investigation or prosecution before any judicial, quasi-judicial and administrative bodies.
- All statements and disclosures previously filed are deemed amended by the tax amnesty returns, STA or SALN and may not be the subject of any investigation or prosecution before any judicial, quasi-judicial and administrative bodies.
Information Management System (IMS)
An information management system (IMS) shall be institutionalized for the effective use of information declared or obtained from the Tax Amnesty Returns and the STA or SALN filed. PHP 500 million is earmarked for the purpose of establishing the IMS, while the excess of collections shall be allotted to Build, Build, Build infrastructure projects as provided under Section 82 of TRAIN Act.
Amendment of Section 270 of the NIRC of 1997
The penalties for BIR personnel violating the confidentiality of information to be exchanged with a foreign tax authority obtained from banks and financial institutions is increased from “PHP 50,000 to PHP 100,000,” to “PHP 500,000 to PHP 1 million”.
Unlawful divulgence of tax amnesty returns
The unlawful disclosure of any information from tax amnesty returns and appurtenant documents is punishable by a fine of PHP 150,000 and imprisonment of not less than six years, but not more than ten years.
Act: Direct Veto of the President to RA 11213 (Tax Amnesty Act) Download File
Date Posted: July 26, 2019