Rules chair: tax amnesty extension delays session

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Democratic Party Chairwoman Régine Biscoe-Lee and Senator Joe San Agustin, the appropriations chairman, said the budget is a balanced one that got bi-partisan support. (Photo PNC News)

Guam – Rules Chair Sen. Regine Biscoe Lee (D) told Pacific News Center that this morning’s resumption of emergency session has been delayed from its 9 o’clock start due to an announcement from the Gov. Eddie Calvo’s office that his administration’s tax amnesty program has just been extended by 30 days.

Lee says the Legislature needs time to absorb the impact of the amnesty’s extension. However, even with a deadline of September 5, that still leaves 26 calendar days till the start of the next fiscal year. At this point it is unclear how overall amnesty collections will affect spending in FY18 vs. FY19.

Although a group of lawmakers led by Sen. Michael San Nicolas (D) seemed to conclude Friday that the island could wait for Calvo’s successor to begin aggressively collecting tens of millions of dollars in outstanding taxes, it appears the governor is not taking public pressure to collect lightly.

A press release issued by the Office of the Governor this morning states that the Tax Amnesty Program deadline has been extended one month from today. The Governor’s news release follows.

Tax Amnesty payment deadline extended 30 days

Taxpayers ask for additional time to remit agreed upon amounts 

August 6, 2018

Hagåtña – The Department of Revenue and Taxation is extending the deadline to submit payments due as part of the Tax Amnesty program, which accepted applications from May 7 through June 26, 2018.

The extension has been granted for a full 30 days from the original date of August 6 to September 5.

Close to $34 million dollars is expected to be paid through this program, with only about half paid to the Department of Revenue and Taxation as of this week.

With the original deadline just days away, a number of participants have approached DRT requesting the deadline extension in order to secure the amount they agreed to pay through means like bank loans, which some taxpayers said are taking time to process.

All participants were required to pay 10 percent of the total amount due upfront and the remaining 90 percent within the allotted timeframe.

“We are working with the people, as we always have. We want to give them an opportunity to succeed and clear their government debt,” said John Camacho, Director of Revenue and Taxation.