Cash-strapped Philippine government plans tax amnesty programme

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The Philippine government plans the implementation of an Indonesia-type tax amnesty programme to raise much-needed revenue for the government.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez told Bloomberg TV  that the government needs to boost revenue to pay for its ambitious spending plans. It will target tax evaders and beef up compliance before adopting the amnesty programme, which will likely be very similar to Indonesia’s, he said.

With regards to tax evaders, Dominguez said “the tax amnesty will not work if they don’t believe you can actually go after them. Thus, first we go after them, show that this government means business and has the political will to stop tax evasion.”

After that, the amnesty programme could start, he noted.

Indonesia’s tax amnesty ended in March after nine months. It was seen as successful, with more than 970,000 taxpayers participating over the period, It allowed citizens to put their tax affairs in order and pay a penalty rate of as low as two per cent when they declared previously hidden assets.

It brought the Indonesian government about $10 billion in additional tax revenue from newly declared assets of around $376 billion, or almost 40 per cent of Indonesia’s GDP.

The Philippines had a tax revenue ratio of just 13.6 per cent GDP as per latest available figures of 2014, which is lower than that of regional peers such as Malaysia and Thailand, according to data from the World Bank.

The government, however, needs funds to pay for $160 billion of promised infrastructure projects on top of its running expenses.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

The Philippine government plans the implementation of an Indonesia-type tax amnesty programme to raise much-needed revenue for the government.

Reading Time: 1 minute

The Philippine government plans the implementation of an Indonesia-type tax amnesty programme to raise much-needed revenue for the government.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez told Bloomberg TV  that the government needs to boost revenue to pay for its ambitious spending plans. It will target tax evaders and beef up compliance before adopting the amnesty programme, which will likely be very similar to Indonesia’s, he said.

With regards to tax evaders, Dominguez said “the tax amnesty will not work if they don’t believe you can actually go after them. Thus, first we go after them, show that this government means business and has the political will to stop tax evasion.”

After that, the amnesty programme could start, he noted.

Indonesia’s tax amnesty ended in March after nine months. It was seen as successful, with more than 970,000 taxpayers participating over the period, It allowed citizens to put their tax affairs in order and pay a penalty rate of as low as two per cent when they declared previously hidden assets.

It brought the Indonesian government about $10 billion in additional tax revenue from newly declared assets of around $376 billion, or almost 40 per cent of Indonesia’s GDP.

The Philippines had a tax revenue ratio of just 13.6 per cent GDP as per latest available figures of 2014, which is lower than that of regional peers such as Malaysia and Thailand, according to data from the World Bank.

The government, however, needs funds to pay for $160 billion of promised infrastructure projects on top of its running expenses.

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