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Bill of Rights for taxpayer’s pushed

With Malacañang planning to impose new taxes, Sen. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara yesterday sought the immediate passage of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.

Angara said that while a taxpayer’s duties are well-known, more often than not, they are clueless what their rights are.

“Duties must come with rights. There must be corresponding rights to the duty to pay taxes. Those who pay must be protected,” said Angara, chairperson of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, in explaining his Senate Bill No. 308.

Taxpayers, Angara stressed should not be treated as “ATMs – automatic taxpaying members of society – who are not entitled to information nor to redress of grievances, and whose only duty is to pay without question.”

Under the bill, Angara grouped the taxpayer’s rights into three – basic rights, rights in civil cases, and rights in criminal cases.

The taxpayer’s basic rights include the right “to available information and prompt and accurate responses to questions and requests for tax assistance.”

A taxpayer must also have the right to be informed of any pending assessment or investigation and obtain clear statements and non-technical explanations. (Hannah L. Torregoza)

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