Congress urged to pass general tax amnesty law to support 2021 budget

Key field officials of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) are asking Congress to pass a general tax amnesty law to support the proposed P4.5 trillion budget of the national government for next year.


Many revenue regional directors and district officers made the suggestion as they foresee no prospect of raising more money from traditional sources due to the unprecedented economic recession caused by Corona Virus-19.

They noted that the pandemic led fiscal authorities to revise downward the collection goal for the year to P1.7 from the P2.4 trillion fixed before the start of the health crisis.

"There is no way for the bureau to raise even 40 percent of the outlay unless the government comes out with an amnesty," said a tax expert in the national office who declined to be named.

The BIR raises roughly 70 percent of the government's annual budgetary needs.

Revenue officials said they expect many businesses to claim losses and pay little or no taxes at all when they file their 2020 income tax returns next year because of the pandemic.

They said the amnesty should cover all tax types and rates fairly and justly to encourage popular acceptance.

The bureau has a standing tax amnesty on delinquencies and estate which deadlines fall on Dec. 31,2020 and Dec. 31, 2022, respectively.