There is time to investigate the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s alleged failure to collect the multi-billion-peso estate tax assessed on the family of the late former dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Senate President Tito Sotto said on Sunday.
That is if the committee to which the resolution was referred would call a hearing, he added.
Sotto made the remark when sought for comment as regards Senator Aquilino Pimentel III’s resolution calling for an inquiry into the BIR and its efforts to collect the estate tax which is now said to be worth P203 billion.
“Yes, there is if the chair of the committee referred to will call a hearing,” Sotto told GMA News Online when asked if there was time for a Senate committee to take on Pimentel’s resolution on the BIR and the uncollected billions of pesos.
Told that Pimentel’s resolution may only be referred to a committee upon the resumption of Senate sessions on May 23 and asked if there was a need to make the investigation urgent, Sotto said, “But nothing can stop a committee chairman from calling a hearing on any related bill or resolution in the committee then include the issue as reference.”
“There are many ways to skin a cat if you know your rules,” Sotto said.
On March 28, Pimentel filed proposed Senate Resolution 998 seeking the propoer Senate committee to conduct an investigation in aid of legislation on the “failure of the BIR to collect on the estate tax monies due on the estate of Ferdinand E. Marcos since 1997 and identify the BIR officials, past and present, responsible therefor.”
He said there is an “urgent and pressing need for the Senate to look into the reasons and BIR officials, past and present, who are responsible why the government, after almost 25 years, has failed to collect on these amounts which have already been adjudged with finality to be due and demandable against the heirs” of the late dictator.
Earlier, the BIR said it had sent a written demand to the Marcos regarding their tax liabilities amounting to P203.819 billion last year.
On March 30, the Department of Finance said the BIR continues to demand the Marcos family to settle their estate tax debt.
However, Senator Imee Marcos claimed that her family has not received any communication yet from the BIR.
Documents from the Supreme Court showed that the assessment of multi-billion estate taxes already became final and executory in 1999.
This article Sotto: Senate has time to probe BIR, unpaid Marcos estate tax if… was originally published in GMA News Online.