Rep. Recto urges PBBM to certify real estate tax amnesty measure as urgent


A House deputy speaker on Thursday urged President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to certify as urgent the estate tax amnesty bill so “people can save billions and the government to earn billions.”

Deputy Speaker and Batangas Rep. Ralph Recto, in a statement, said the President should certify as urgent the House bill extending the deadline of the estate tax amnesty for another two years.

“People will save billions while the government will earn billions by simply moving the June 14, 2023 deadline to June 14, 2025,” he said.

“A one-sentence letter from the President supporting a one-line bill will make this a reality,” Recto said.

Recto said the extension is an “act of kindness” to seniors whose vulnerability during the 30 months the pandemic prevented them from availing of the amnesty.

“Putting a deceased loved one’s properties in order was also a casualty of Covid,” Recto said.

“If government had extended ‘lifelines, bailouts in the billions’ to distressed commercial firms during the pandemic, then why should not the same compassion be extended to families, more so that it won’t cost the government anything?” added Recto.

While in the Senate, Recto was among the authors of Republic Act 11213, a 2019 law, which erased the penalties and significantly cut the rates for estate tax obligations.

But the period to avail of the one-time tax relief coincided with the pandemic, prompting Congress to pass what would become RA 11569 which extended the amnesty period by two years to June 14, 2023.

Recto said another justification for the proposed extension is the lower-than-projected government collections from the program.

When RA 11213 came into force in 2019, “the forecast revenue was in the P6 billion to P8 billion range, but actual take as of end of 2021 was P5.5 billion,” he said.

In addition to erasing penalties, Recto said the Estate Tax Amnesty law slashed the final rate.

 “The idea was to unlock the potential of idle assets left by the deceased so these can be used for productive purposes by the heirs,” he said.

In the House, Speaker Martin Romualdez led chamber leaders in filing HB 7409, which seeks to extend by another two years the deadline for applying for estate tax amnesty.

“This great bill by the Speaker represents the will of the grassroots as canvassed by their district representatives. PBBM (President Marcos) should certify it for urgent passage,” Recto said.

The bill is pending before the House Committee on Ways and Means.