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aug04.2013Solon seeks granting of amnesty to importers and sureties with unsettled obligations with BOC

aug04.2013Solon seeks granting of amnesty to importers and sureties with unsettled obligations with BOC

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Solon seeks granting of amnesty to importers and sureties with unsettled obligations with BOC
Solon seeks granting of amnesty to importers and sureties with unsettled obligations with BOC

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Published by: pribhor2 on Aug 04, 2013
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08/04/2013

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Solon seeks granting of amnesty to importers and suretieswith unsettled obligations with BOC
To raise additional revenue for the government, a lawmaker proposed the grantingof amnesty from civil and criminal prosecution of importers and sureties who voluntarilydisclose previously unliquidated or matured bonds to secure payment of customs dutiesand other charges of fees.Rep. Reynaldo Umali (2nd District, Oriental Mindoro) filed House Bill 9 or the proposed “Customs Amnesty Act of 2013” as he stressed the Bureau of Customs shouldnow focus its attention to previously uncollected taxes and duties which can be donethrough an amnesty.“The proposal is our answer to the challenge of this administration to raiseadditional revenues for better government services without imposing new taxes,” saidUmali, a former BOC deputy commissioner.At present, he said there is no law encouraging importers to voluntarily disclosetheir matured or unliquidated surety bonds. He said surety bonds are usually posted byimporters to secure payment of customs duties and other charges or fees so that the BOCmay release their importations conditionally.“The uncollected amount from the matured bonds is huge enough for the BOC to beable to augment its national revenue collection. As of January 1, 2009, the total overdueamount covered by surety bonds is over P7.9 billion,” said Umali.He said the duties and taxes covered by his proposed amnesty are those, whichaccrued during the periods January 1, 1997 to December 31, 2007. “The taxes and dutieswhich accrued January 1, 2008 onwards are not covered by this amnesty and are subject toaudit in line with Republic Act 9135,” he said.Republic Act 9135 is “An Act Amending Certain Provisions of Presidential Decreeno. 1464, otherwise known as the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines, asamended, and For Other Purposes.”Umali said when RA 9135 was enacted; the government implemented theTransaction Value as the basis for dutiable value of imported articles subject to ad valoremrate of duty, which shall be the price actually paid or payable for the goods when sold for export to the Philippines.Umali said revenues collected under the proposed amnesty Act shall be used for the
NR # 3185AUG. 4, 2013
 
following: 60 percent to supplement the BOC operating budget; and 40 percent shall go tothe National Export and Competitiveness Fund.House Bill 9 provides it is the declared State policy to provide funds or property to promote the general welfare and protection of its citizens. The State should thereforedevelop measures and programs that will ensure the efficient collection of taxes.It provides that amnesty from civil and criminal prosecution shall be granted tothose importers and sureties who voluntarily disclosed previous unliquidated or matured bonds to secure payment of customs, duties and other charges of fees, includingincrements and penalties in relation thereto and complied with the requirements of the proposed Act.Such amnesty shall not be applicable in the following circumstances: criminal caseshave already been filed in court or with the Prosecutors Office on or before December 31,1997 by the BOC or any other government agency; and customs duty and tax involvingcivil liability which are the subject of a pending criminal action in the Prosecutor’s Officeor court prior to December 31, 1997 filed by the BOC or any other government agency.The Customs Bond/Surety Amnesty Return shall be filed in the prescribed formwith the Office of the Port Collector, District Collector, Collection Agent or the authorizedMunicipal Treasurer designated as collection officer of the BOC where the taxpayer hashis legal residence or place of business in the Philippines, or if he has none, then with theBOC Commissioner on or before January 31 of the year after the passage of the proposedAct, the bill provides.The bill provides that any taxes and duties due as disclosed by the taxpayer in hisAmnesty Return must be paid at the time of filing it. If the taxes and duties exceedP50,000, the same shall be paid based on the following schedule:a) If the amount exceeds P50,000 but does not exceed P100,000, the amount may be paid in two equal installments, the first to be paid upon the filing of the amnesty return,and the second installment, on or before April 30 of the taxable year;b) If the amount due exceeds P100,000, the amount may be paid in threeinstallments, the first one upon filing of the amnesty return, the second one on or beforeApril 30 of the taxable year, and the third one on or before April 30 of the next taxableyear.In meritorious cases where the total amount due exceeds P300,000, the BOCCommissioner or the District Collector, subject to the approval of the Secretary of Finance, may upon proper application, allow the taxpayer to pay the P300,000 based onthe immediately preceding schedule and the amount in excess in equal monthlyinstallments;c) If the installment is not made on its due date, the whole unpaid amount will

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