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BIR: Employers must comply with new tax exemption rules under TRAIN Law

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, January 12th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines – Taxpayers trooped to the public consultation of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to answer queries regarding the new tax exemption rules under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion or TRAIN Law.

One of the main issues asked is whether a minimum wage earner is still exempted from paying income tax if his annual income exceeds P250,000 due to overtime pay and other incentives.

“There are specific words and other words retained from the old tax code that says a minimum wage earner is exempt from income taxes. So if you’re under minimum wage category, you will be exempted including holiday pay regardless if your total income for the whole year exceeds 250,000” BIR Spokesperson Atty. Marissa Cabreros said.

The BIR stresses that the tax reform law has already taken effect since January 1, so workers earning 21,000 and lower should not have any deductions pertaining to any taxes.

“Our withholding agents have an obligation to ensure that their withholdings are correct. Some employers say there’s no revenue regulation yet. But there’s no need to wait for the revenue regulation because we’ve already released an issuance,” Cabreros said.

The BIR encourages employees to directly report to them any employer who fails to comply with the new tax exemption rule.

“If they exceeded withholding this January in the first salary, they should self-correct to adjust and give back the excess in the next payouts,” Cabreros added. – Mai Bermudez | UNTV News & Rescue

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Duterte to public on being taxed: ‘Your money is safe under my term’

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, December 6th, 2018

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech during the awarding ceremony for the 2017 Presidential Award for Child-Friendly Municipalities and Cities (PACFMC), at the Malacañan Palace on December 5, 2018. Also in the photo are Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea. RICHARD MADELO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

 

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday (December 5) appeased public concerns on the impact of the administration’s tax reforms.

“Do not be so sad about being taxed,” he said in a speech during the Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas (PAFIOO) in Malacañang.

“Your money here during my term is safe. I will not allow corruption. I have fired so many Cabinet members for just an infraction,” the President said.

On Tuesday (December 4), the President approved the proposal for the government to proceed with the second tranche of oil tax hikes in 2019.

This, despite calls to suspend its implementation in view of a possible rise in inflation next year.

Economic managers of the Duterte Administration projected in October that the price of Dubai crude oil would hit the threshold of $80 per barrel.

However, its price dropped in November prompted a series of roll backs in local oil prices and the decision to suspend the implementation of next year’s oil tax hike.

Now that it is given the green light, the second tranche of additional excise tax on oil under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act, will add P2.24/liter for gasoline and diesel.

This is broken down to P2.00 excise tax plus P0.24 value added tax (VAT).

The additional levy on oil products will take effect on January 1, 2019.

The (TRAIN) Law has been criticized for causing a shoot up in inflation which in October hit a nine-year high of 6.7%.

Inflation eased to 6% in November which the government took credit for as Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said: “We attribute this to the President’s empathy to public clamor and his decisive action in response thereto, which includes the issuance of Administrative Order No. 13 to streamline procedures on the importation of agricultural products, including rice, as well as Memorandum Order (MO) Nos. 26, 27, and 28 to stabilize the prices of agriculture and fishery products at reasonable levels and maintain their sufficient supply in our markets.” – Marje Pelayo

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DOF: Collection of P2/liter fuel excise tax suspended for 3 months

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

 

 

MANILA, Philippines —The collection of additional P2.00 per liter in petroleum products in 2019 under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law will be suspended for at least three months.

Finance Undersecretary Karl Chua revealed this before the Senate Economic Affairs Committee hearing earlier.

The TRAIN law specifically states that the collection of excise tax on oil products will be automatically suspended when the price of imported crude oil reaches the 80 dollars per barrel level for three consecutive months.

“Yes at the very least, and we will base that on prevailing oil price,” said Chua.

But the group Laban Konsyumer opposed the said timeline.

“January to March of every year is the slowest in demand whether food or non-food. Talagang ang demand mababa. Ipapasok mo yung suspension ng excise taxes mapipi-feel ba ng mga mahihirap yung immediate impact,” said Laban Konsyumer president Vic Dimagiba.

Senate committee on economic affairs chairman Sherwin Gatchalian is also not convinced with the DOF’s target.

“We would like to request for a suspension of six months at least, dahil yung first three months adjustment period yan,” said Gatchalian.

But the DOF said that based on its computations, the government may potentially lose around P41.6 billion in revenues if the suspension will last for several months to a year.

This would also affect more programs and government services will suffer.

To counter this, the Department of Budget and Management plans to implement budget cuts, including the procurement of new vehicles and other travel expenses such as lakbay-aral.

The budget for fuel subsidy will also be reduced.

The DBM, however, assured the fund allocated in 2019 for the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipinong Program will remain.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), meanwhile, estimates that the country’s inflation rate will be reduced to 4.1 percent in 2019.

Based on their studies, BSP sees a point-two percent decline if fuel excise taxes will be suspended; and point seven percent if the rice tarrification law will take effect next year.

“If the suspension is for the portion of the year, the impact on inflation would be correspondingly smaller,” said BSP Assistant Governor Francisco Dakila.

Senator Gatchalian, meanwhile, plans to ask the DOF not to trim down the amount of subsidies appropriated for jeepney drivers.

The Senate will also push for a joint resolution in support of Malacañang’s planned order of the suspension of 2nd tranche of excise tax for petroleum products in 2019. — Nel Maribojoc | UNTV News & Rescue

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Diokno: Suspension of 2nd tranche of fuel excise tax may affect gov’t fuel subsidies

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, October 18th, 2018

 

Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno

The government assured that it will continue its program that offers assistance to jeepney drivers who are bearing the brunt of surging oil prices.

According to Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, the Pantawid Pasada Program, which seeks to provide a fuel voucher worth P5,000 for each jeepney driver, has been allocated with P977 million in the 2018 national budget.

In 2019, they proposed around P3.2 billion appropriation for the program in hopes of hiking the fuel subsidy to P20,000 for each driver.

But following the announcement on the early suspension of the second tranche of fuel excise taxes next year, Diokno warned that the projected budget may be slashed.

“As I’ve said, the Pantawid Pasada for next year is premised on the two-peso adjustment. Now, if the two-peso adjustment is suspended then the Pantawid Pasada benefits will be based on 2018 but that will continue,” said Diokno.

Diokno has earlier assured that the government’s assistance to poor Filipinos, such as conditional and unconditional cash transfer in 2019, will not be affected if the suspension of the fuel excise tax will push through.

With this assurance, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) is confident that the budget for the free tertiary education policy next year will be protected.

“We will be in close coordination with DOF (Department of Finance) so that provision for education will somehow not be affected by any deduction,” said CHED Executive Director Atty. Cinderella Filipina Jarp. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue

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