IF many Filipinos still refuse to put their tax papers in order, blame it partly on the complexity of the country’s current tax system.
No less than Sen. Ralph Recto said that some taxpayers find the bureaucratic hurdle “too high, too often or too costly” to comply.
Recto, the Senate minority leader from Batangas, specifically referred to small businessmen and self-employed professionals.
That’s why he filed Senate Bill (SB) No. 920 which seeks to grant a general tax amnesty or implement a “tax forgiveness” program.
An economist, Senator Recto said the proposed tax amnesty aims to encourage more people to surface and put their tax papers in order without fear or prosecution.
SB No. 920 seeks to expand the tax base by luring untaxed individuals or those with outstanding tax liabilities to settle their obligations.
In the view of the lawmaker, giving taxpayers with arrears an opportunity to come up with a clean slate and begin paying the correct taxes is a move in the right direction.
The provision for immunity from civil, criminal and administrative penalties to be granted to erring taxpayers will encourage those operating in the underground economy to legitimate their operations.
But the highly-articulate Recto was quick to point out that the amnesty will not cover those with pending cases involving unexplained or unlawfully acquired wealth.
Likewise, persons charged with violating the Anti-Money Laundering Law will not be allowed to apply for amnesty.
We support the proposed amnesty because it will encourage individuals with outstanding liabilities to settle their tax obligations.