BIR notes only a few taxpayers availing of tax amnesty programs

By Jun Ramirez 

The government's tax amnesty on delinquencies and estate has yet to gain momentum to raise at least P27 billion.
Informed sources said yesterday few delinquent taxpayers have so far availed of the privilege, paying the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) less than P12 million since last week.

Bureau of Internal Revenue (MANILA BULLETIN) Bureau of Internal Revenue (MANILA BULLETIN)

Likewise, the same sources said only a few taxpayers have also availed of the estate tax amnesty.

The BIR implemented the twin programs last month in an effort to raise additional revenue of roughly P21 billion from the delinquencies and the balance of P6 billion from the heirs of the decedents.

However, revenue regional directors and district officers nationwide were not alarmed over the apparent disinterest of taxpayers in settling back accounts.

The officials who declined to be named said they are aware of the Filipinos' "mañana (tomorrow)" habit, or extending doing things until the last minute.

They said the situation was best illustrated during the annual filing of income tax returns (ITR), wherein taxpayers submit the documents at the last days, or hours of the deadline causing overcrowding and confusion.

They said collection from the amnesty would take off when the deadlines near.

The deadline for the filing of the amnesty returns on delinquencies is April 24 next year, while the estate tax returns is still two years away, June 20, 2021.

Individual and business taxpayers with tax debts incurred in 2017 and prior years can avail of the amnesty on delinquencies.

The estate tax amnesty covers the estate of the deceased who died on or before Dec. 31, 2017 with unpaid liabilities.