BIR Officials Appeal for Passage of Tax Amnesty Law
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) appeals to lawmakers to pass a general tax amnesty law supporting the ₱4.5 trillion outlay for the national government for 2021.
According to several revenue regional directors and district field officers, the traditional source of funds would not be sufficient to cover half of the budget due to the economic recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
BIR estimates that only 25% of commercial and service establishments nationwide will report earnings for 2020, while the rest will declare losses and pay little or no tax.
Traditionally, BIR supplies between 70-75% of the national budget every year.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, taxpayers are discouraged from availing of the current Voluntary Assessment and Payment Program (VAPP) as it does not grant them immunity from investigations.
BIR announced that the VAPP is an administrative amnesty granting “last priority” for those who avail of the program. Currently, the program has only raised ₱200 million.
BIR states, “What the taxpayers want is an assurance that they will no longer be investigated when they apply for an amnesty.”
The tax amnesty must include all tax types and cover 2018 and 2019. At present, there is a tax amnesty on delinquencies that covers returns filed in 2017 and prior years.
Only 95% of 3,000 big companies under BIR’s Large Taxpayers Service availed themselves of the amnesty that raised more than ₱1.4 trillion, helping the agency exceed its collection target.