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Monday, May 27, 2024

Recto seeks Senate OK of bill extending estate tax amnesty

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Batangas Rep. Ralph Recto on Sunday appealed to his former colleagues in the Senate to pass the bill extending the estate tax amnesty for two more years.

Recto express confidence that the Senators could ratify the measure without waiting for President Marcos Jr. to certify it as urgent.

When the legislature resumes today, the lawmakers have only 12 session days before they adjourn by the end of the month.

Under the estate tax amnesty law, the period to avail of the benefits expires on June 14, “which means the clock is ticking,” Recto said.

He expressed hope for an extension “because in legislation, a month is an eternity. Kaya kayang-kaya ipasa.”

Although tax bills originate from the House of Representatives, the Senate, in anticipation of House action, can start tackling the bill, so that when the House bill arrives, the Senate version would be ready for floor debates, he noted.

The bill resetting the deadline of the estate tax amnesty to June 14, 2025 has hurdled the House ways and means committee.

This paves the way for plenary debates, “whose outcome—its passage—is a certainty,” Recto said.

As a senator, Recto was among the authors of Republic Act 11213 which erased the penalties and significantly cut the rates for estate tax obligations.

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.

By extending the window of opportunity again by two more years, “families will save billions while government will earn billions,” Recto stressed

“Halimbawa, ‘yung lumang batas aabot ng 20 percent ang tax. At present, six percent na lang. ‘Yung lumang batas, kuripot sa exemptions. Ngayon, kung ang family home ay P10 million, deducted ‘yan sa bubuwisan, at may dagdag na P5 million standard deduction. Kung walang extension, hindi ito mapapakinabangan ng mga namatayan,” he said.

The extension is a “lifeline to a government scrounging for revenues and an act of kindness” to seniors whose vulnerability during the 30 months the pandemic raged prevented them from availing of the amnesty.

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

He hailed the House bill as an improved version of the estate tax amnesty law because it covers deaths which occurred on or before Dec. 31, 2021, amending the cut off period of Dec. 31, 2017 in RA 11213.

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