ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Philippines customs extends amnesty
The program would run during the first quarter of 2011.
The VDP is the BOC's counterpart to the Bureau of Internal Revenue's abatement scheme.
Under the proposed VDP, surcharges and penalties can be dispensed with, Mr. Alvarez, the customs head, said, adding that, "I proposed that they [those who would avail of the program] may only pay for the basic tax due to government."
Under the Tariffs and Customs Code, delinquent traders, importers and taxpayers are liable to pay surcharges of 25 percent to 50 percent, a 12 percent interest per annum, and penalty that could go as high as eight times the original value of the imported good, at the discretion of the bureau.
Alvarez said the BOC is eyeing to raise at least P2 billion from the program.
At end-November, the bureau incurred a P30.16 billion deficit on its collection target for the period after it raised only P231.7 billion.
The BOC is tasked to collect P280 billion for this year, an amount that Alvarez conceded would no longer be met given the zero-duty treatment of three imported commodities, namely petroleum, semi-conductor and electronics, and Japan-made vehicles.
He said the VDP is not mainly for revenue generation but for giving the erring taxpayers the "rare opportunity" to come forward and be spared from criminal prosecution.
"As much as possible we don't want to flood our courts with cases that can be settled extra judicially.
Hence, those who are guilty of undervaluation or technical smuggling should grab this chance. Otherwise, they face the very high risk of being criminally and civilly charged," Alvarez said.
Letters that do not contain full contact information cannot be published.
Letters become the property of AseanAffairs and may be republished in any format.
They typically run 150 words or less and may be edited
submit your comment in the box below