Solon wants ‘estate tax amnesty bill’ certified as urgent

2023 April 20

MANILA – House of Representatives Deputy Speaker, Batangas 6th District Rep. Ralph Recto, on Thursday called on President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to certify as urgent the House bill extending the deadline of the estate tax amnesty for another two years.

Recto said the extension would be an “act of kindness” to seniors whose vulnerability during the 30-month pandemic rage prevented them from availing of the amnesty.

“A one-sentence letter from the President supporting a one-line bill will make this a reality,” Recto said.

He said the people would “save billions while the government will earn billions” by simply moving the June 14, 2023 deadline to June 14, 2025.

Recto has emphasized the broad effect of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) as a primary factor that caused so many problems among Filipinos, including those who were abroad when the pandemic broke out.

He said they were not able to come home for the proper documentation of their properties due to the strict lockdown implementation then.

“Putting a deceased loved one’s properties in order was also a casualty of Covid,” Recto said.

While in the Senate, Recto was among the authors of Republic Act 11213, a 2019 law that erased the penalties and significantly cut the rates for estate tax obligations.

However, the period to avail of the one-time tax relief coincided with the pandemic, prompting Congress to pass what would become RA 11569, which extended the amnesty period by two years to June 14, 2023.

Recto said another justification for the proposed extension is the lower-than-projected government collections from the program.

When RA 11213 came into force in 2019, “the forecast revenue was in the PHP6 billion to PHP8 billion range, but actual take as of end of 2021 was PHP5.5 billion,” he said.

In addition to erasing penalties, Recto said the Estate Tax Amnesty Law slashed the final rate.

“The idea was to unlock the potential of idle assets left by the deceased so these can be used for productive purposes by the heirs,” he said.

In the House, Speaker Martin Romualdez led chamber leaders in filing House Bill 7409, which seeks to extend by another two years the deadline for applying for estate tax amnesty.

“This great bill by the Speaker represents the will of the grassroots as canvassed by their district representatives. PBBM should certify it for urgent passage,” Recto said.

Zaldy De Layola