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Salceda expects Estate Tax Amnesty extension to pass before sine die adjournment; possible ratification of Ease of Paying Taxes act on SONA-day session eyed

May 23rd, 2023

House Ways and Means Chair Joey Sarte Salceda (Albay, 2nd district) says he expects that Congress will ratify the estate tax amnesty extension before Congress adjourns sine die on June 3, now that “the Senate will move for bicameral conference next week.”

“We are already discussing at least the outline of bicameral proceedings. The Senate has introduced some new provisions to the House version, so we will see whether we can adopt these provisions or whether a bicameral conference committee is necessary,” Salceda said.

Salceda adds that “so far, the provisions introduced in the Senate version do not appear to be averse to the point of the Estate Tax Amnesty extension. They want some mechanism for electronic filing. That’s acceptable – even welcome.”

“As long as we see Third Reading approval by the Senate on May 29 or before that, we will be able to send this to PBBM for his signature, and he can announce this as another win during the SONA,” Salceda remarked.

EOPT enactment before SONA “possible”

Salceda also says that they still see it as possible “that the Ease of Paying Taxes Act could be enacted or ratified before SONA.”

“Slim chance – but best effort on our part. I think we can go over the differences on the last week of session and hopefully ratify it on the morning session of SONA,” Salceda said. The Senate has already completed its committee report on the Ease of Paying Taxes Act.

Salceda adds that “we have resolved the most essential differences there anyway, the problem of bad debts. We have made our position clear to our Senate counterparts that, given stakeholder concerns, we are alright with a provision for aged or bad receivables. That works for us.”

Salceda was referring to the shift to invoices from receipts under the Ease of Paying Taxes Act. Stakeholders have raised the concern that since some invoices are not actually paid for by buyers, the seller will be forced to pay VAT on bad or aged receivables.

“With a provision for writing those receivables off, I think we have agreement,” Salceda added.

Tax racketeering could be discussed

Salceda adds that the House might consider introducing provisions against tax racketeering or the use of fake receipts for tax evasion in the Ease of Paying Taxes Act.

“We are considering whether we can include it in EOPT. Of course, our counterparts in the Senate have to concur,” Salceda said.

“I think that’s alright especially since we also tackle provisions under the same Tax Code section for both bills. Anyway, we’re looking into it. PBBM made it clear he wants tax administration reforms in his first SONA. I hope we will have the biggest tax administration reform in decades enacted before his second SONA. We’ll try,” Salceda added.

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