The SEC's extensions to the amnesty deadlines were announced through SEC Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 9 – 2023, released on July 26, 2023. The Commission has decided to extend the deadline for amnesty applications until September 30, 2023, for the amnesty applications under MC No.2 and MC No.6. This was done in response to the demand for amnesty deadline extension requests due to issues faced during the amnesty application process.
It follows the provisions previously stated in SEC MC No.6 – 2023, which gave a two-month extension to the deadlines up until June 30, 2023. During this time, all qualified corporations were given the chance to file their amnesty applications and settle their amnesty fees.
In accordance with MC No. 6, companies were given 90 days from when they paid their amnesties to also submit their latest due Annual Financial Statements (AFS). The Commission also notes the objectives provided by MC No.2 – 2023 would be accomplished better if there was more time for amnesty applications.
Amendments to the Circulars
Certain amendments to the previous circulars were also implemented to allow for the deadline extension.
A.) Section 1. Amnesty Rates
The Commission clarifies that the prescribed amnesty rates under MC 2 shall be retained, to wit:
- Corporations not compliant with the filing of General Information Sheet (GIS), AFS, and SEC MC No. 28, series of 2020.
- Suspended/Revoked Corporations with no MC 28-2020 compliance.
- Corporations whose Only violation is non-compliance with MC 28 – 2023
B.) Section 2. Procedure
The Commission states that the following amendments were made to streamline the amnesty application process:
- Unified Amnesty Application Form
Following the notarized Expression of Interest (EOI) Form and the Amnesty Application Form, all amnesty applicants are required to accomplish a web-based form using the Electronic Filing and Submission Tool (eFAST) platform. These will include tick boxes that indicate concurrence and/or consent to certain conditions of the amnesty process.
Where the violation is only non-compliance with SEC MC 28-2020, the applicant should submit the duly accomplished “Annex D” of this MC, by using the link to the SEC MC 28-202o portal. Afterwards, the applicant needs to accomplish the web-based form to confirm their intent to avail of the amnesty.
- Removal of Undertaking for Latest Due AFS submission
Following the deadline prescribed by the SEC and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), it is understood that the AFS should be readily available by the end of the extended amnesty period, or until September 30, 2023, the undertaking to submit the AFS within ninety (90) days from the date of payment of amnesty fee shall no longer be applicable.
- Turnaround time for release of Confirmation of Payment (COP)
The release of Confirmation of Payment shall be within fifteen (15) working days from the date of complete submission of reportorial requirements by the applicant.
- Complete Submission of Reportorial Requirements
Corporations who are able to upload and submit the correct reportorial requirements (i.e., latest due GIS and AFS), including those reverted for compliance within the submission period or until September 30, 2023, shall be considered to have undergone the complete process and may thus be entitled to a COP, otherwise payment of their respective amnesty fees will be forfeited.
Refund of Overpayment
Refunds of amnesty fees for non-compliant corporations shall not be accommodated, except in highly meritorious cases. For suspended or revoked corporations, the petition fees shall not be refunded but shall be re-applied to the payment of the 50% asses fines, subject to existing accounting and auditing guidelines.
C.) Section 3. Amnesty extension period and submission of documents
This amendment explains that corporations will now have until September 30, 2023, to signify their intent to supply for amnesty, submit the supporting reportorial documents and settle the corresponding amnesty fees.
Applicants who fail to comply within the submission period will forfeit the paid amnesty or filing fees in favour of the Commission. Additionally, in view of the foregoing amnesty application, the updated scale of fines and penalties for the covered reportorial requirements will now be implemented on October 1, 2023.