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BIR to zero in on estate taxes

Published on Sunday, 17 February 2013 23:00 [ Malaya.com.ph ]
Written by ANGELA CELIS
By A Web design Company
The Bureau of Internal Revenue will zero in on increasing collection of estate taxes which for the past ten years have remained flat.
“Lots of people die. My question is, why is the estate tax collection always at P850 million to P1 billion for each year, for the past 10 years?” BIR Commissioner Kim Henares said.
Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima has tasked the BIR to significantly boost estate tax collections to P50 billion by the end of the Aquino administration’s term. “(It is) a big job but when you consider the facts that asset prices in the country have increased dramatically in the past 10 years, I think there is basis to be a bit optimistic that we can hit this goal if we work together not only with BIR but with civil society who should help us improve our information gathering. I know of several Filipinos who passed away the past 36 months alone who should have paid over a billion just on their estate,” Purisima said.
“We appeal to the rich, when they file their estate tax collections, to file the right amount,” the Finance chief added.
The government sees estate tax collections as one of the areas which could be improved in order to raise the tax effort to 16 percent by 2016, from the current level of 13 percent.
According to the BIR website, the highest amount of estate tax that shall be paid, is P1.215 million plus 20 percent of the excess over P10 million if the net estate is P10 million or higher.
Henares said that the BIR coordinates with the National Statistics Office to study the number of deaths and the estate left by the deceased persons.
According to the NSO, there were 480,820 reported deaths in 2009.
Henares also said that they will also look into those who have stopped reporting their income to see if those persons have already passed away.
“I have instructed our people to look into individuals who usually report their income and then suddenly stop reporting to the BIR. We need to know why they have stopped reporting their income, if they have already died,” Henares said.
“There are a lot of things that we can do to improve estate tax collections. We will try to hit our target by 2016,” the BIR chief added.
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