Senator Win Gatchalian wants to make it easier for heirs to file and pay for their estate taxes. This is one of the provisions of Senate Bill 1346, or the Ease of Paying Tax Act, which introduces administrative tax reforms by amending certain provisions of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997. Under the existing law, heirs need to file estate tax returns and pay for the corresponding estate tax in the same revenue district where the decedent was domiciled at the time of his death. In cases where the decedent had no legal residence in the Philippines, the heirs have to file the estate tax return with the office of the Commissioner of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
“The proposal will provide taxpayers or the heirs involved the flexibility to select where they want to file and pay the taxes,” Gatchalian said, pointing out that in many cases, the heirs processing estate tax return are domiciled in a revenue district office that is different and far away from the decedent. He noted that under the current set-up, the heirs have to go through the trouble of traveling to the place where the decedent was domiciled, causing work disruption, among other inconveniences. To add to that, they also incur additional costs to comply with our tax laws.
“The general goal of the proposed measure is to put in place a tax administration system that will encourage taxpayers to pay their taxes truthfully and in a timely manner,” said Gatchalian.
“Kailangan nating gawing simple at madali ang pagbabayad ng buwis para sa ating mga taxpayers. Inaasahan natin na mas magiging maayos ang pangongolekta para makalikom ng sapat na buwis ang pamahalaan para mapondohan ang iba’t-ibang programa ng gobyerno,” said Gatchalian, who chairs Senate Committee on Ways and Means.
Championing the cause of taxpayers, Gatchalian recently delivered a co-sponsorship speech on Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights and Obligations Act which aims to empower taxpayers by educating them on their basic rights and obligations. Senate Bill No. 1199 also seeks the creation of the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate that would take the cudgels for taxpayers by ensuring that their rights are safeguarded.