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BIR ends two amnesty programs without extension

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) said the Voluntary Assessment and Payment Program (VAPP) and tax amnesty for delinquencies expired Wednesday with no plans to extend the deadline.

BIR Deputy Commissioner Marissa O. Cabreros said in a Viber message the deadlines will not be extended after several such extensions given last year.

In the case of the tax amnesty on delinquent accounts, Ms. Cabreros said the BIR is not authorized to extend the program by Republic Act No. 11494 or the Bayanihan to Recover As One Act (Bayanihan II), which had allowed the government to move statutory deadlines as a form of pandemic relief.

The BIR has yet to disclose collections generated by the program.

The validity of the tax amnesty program on delinquencies was extended four times last year, after an initial April 23 deadline. It covers all national internal revenue taxes such as income tax, withholding tax, capital gains tax, donor’s tax, value-added tax, other forms of percentage tax, excise tax and documentary stamp tax running back to 2017.

The BIR collected P3.544 billion in revenue from the program from its launch in April 2019 to December 2020.

The two tax amnesty programs were authorized by Republic Act No. 11213 or the Tax Amnesty Act signed in February 2019. Certain provisions were vetoed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte, who opposed a general amnesty without lifting bank secrecy laws.

The VAPP allowed taxpayers to voluntarily settle their tax arrears allowing the BIR to collect revenue that would have otherwise had to be extracted via audits. It covers all internal revenue taxes for the taxable year ending December 2018 and fiscal year 2018 ending July 2018 to June 2019.

The program was initially set to expire at the end of 2020. The BIR extended its validity until June 30.

Meanwhile, the agency is also still waiting for President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s to sign a bill that will extend the validity of the estate tax amnesty program for another two years, after the program concluded on June 14.

The BIR collected P872.414 billion between January and May, up 29.5% from the same period last year. The agency is tasked to collect P2.081 trillion this year. — Beatrice M. Laforga

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