The Finance department is backing a tax amnesty bill that was recently filed at the House of Representatives, saying the measure will not only boost government revenues but also improve tax collections.
“We support it,” Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd told reporters, referring to House Bill (HB) 7105 that proposes a pardon for all unpaid internal revenue taxes imposed by the government for 2017.
Finance Assistant Secretary Mark Dennis Joven said the department was supporting the bill because it would also generate a taxpayer database that would facilitate tax collections.
“Based on historical amnesties, the last amnesty we had was a 5-percent amnesty on net worth and compliance was really low, so we need to consider that as well,” Joven added.
The last tax amnesty only netted P5 billion for the government, he said.
Filed by House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas and Ways and Means Committee chairman Dakila Carlo Cua, HB 7105 aims to give the government flexibility in collecting taxes as well as provide taxpayers with the chance to start with a clean slate.
Under the measure, any person, whether natural or juridical, may avail themselves of the benefits of the tax amnesty after paying a certain amount.
Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno recently said that the government should consider implementing a tax amnesty as the government had already established its capability to go after large tax evaders.
The Budget chief noted settlements made by flag carrier Philippine Airlines and tobacco firm Mighty Corp., and Sunvar Realty Development Corp’s decision to give up the disputed Mile Long property in Makati City.