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Saudi Arabia imposes 5% VAT on basic goods, OFWs advised to spend wisely

by UNTV NEWS   |   Posted on Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018

International Philippine School in Al-Khobar

The imposition of the government of Saudi Arabia of a five percent Value Added Tax (VAT) will affect the Arab nation’s food and beverage industry, petroleum products, rents of commercial establishments, remittance fee, and domestic transportation, among others.

The VAT already resulted in an increase of almost 55 percent in prices of gasoline.

With this, electricity rates will go up to 300 percent.

Overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Raymond Tolosa is already complaining because of a ten percent rise in school tuition this year. He worries it will further increase next year because of additional taxes.

“It’s better to send my children back to the Philippines because it’s more costly to study here,” he said.

However, Philippine Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Adnan Alonto noted that some Philippine schools in the Arab country might be exempted from the additional taxes if it can prove that they are community schools.

“For schools that have requested for certification, come here at the embassy… we can assure you that we will release a statement saying you are exempted, ” Alonto said.

Exempted from the additional taxes are residential rents, medicines, and medical equipment.

It was in 2016 when the unified agreement for VAT of the cooperation council for the Arab states of the gulf was released. The Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Saudi Arabia are among the Arab countries that signed the agreement.

The VAT is a financial measure of Saudi Arabia, which will become one of its non-oil revenue sources.

According to Ambassador Alonto, with this development, Filipinos based in Saudi Arabia should learn how to properly save money.

“Filipinos here know how to endure. We know how to strive for our families,” said Alonto — Bong Duqueza | UNTV News & Rescue

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BIR releases revised withholding tax table in relation to tax reform law

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, January 4th, 2018

Revised withholding tax table of BIR

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has released the revised withholding tax table in relation to the government’s tax reform law. However, Bayan Muna Partylist Representative Carlos Zarate said a petition against TRAIN is now being crafted.

Under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion or TRAIN Law, those who are earning lower than P20,833  per month or P200,000 a year are exempted from paying income tax.

In relation to the new law, the Bureau of Internal Revenue released a revised withholding tax table.

There are four modes of payment between an employer and an employee: daily, weekly, semi-monthly or every 15th and 30th of the month.

For those who are not exempted, for instance, a worker earning 25,000 pesos a month, a P3,333 tax every cut-off will be deducted from his salary every 15th and 30th.

 

The Bureau of Internal Revenue clarified that the old taxation law will still be the basis when filing the income tax return on April 15.

“So the annual income tax return that was supposed to be filed by our taxpayers on April 15, 2018, refers to the taxable year 2017,” the spokesperson added.

The revised withholding tax table has already been uploaded to the website of the agency at bir.gov.ph.

Public consultations are also set on January 11 and 12 to explain the new law to taxpayers.

In the meantime, Bayan Muna is set to question the tax reform law before the Supreme Court.

The group stressed that proper process was not followed in the passing of the law.

They are currently preparing the petition that they will submit to the high court.

Bayan Muna Partylist Representative Carlos Zarate insists that the new law is not needed for tax collection.

“There are so many taxes that are being shouldered but in reality—this was not fully collected by the agencies which are supposed to collect especially taxes from big taxpayers,” Representative Zarate said in a phone interview.

Meanwhile, the BIR welcomes the challenge of intensifying their collection efficiency.

“I agree with Congressman Zarate that we really have to work all the time, double time,” Commissioner Cesar Dulay said. — Mai Bermudez | UNTV News & Rescue

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BIR sues Olongapo hospital for tax

by UNTV   |   Posted on Friday, December 22nd, 2017

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) sues a private hospital in Olongapo City for its failure to remit the taxes collected from its doctors and employees.

BIR said that the Our Lady of Lourdes International Medical Center incorporated has aggregate tax liabilities amounting to 15.7 million pesos.

Despite several notices and letters from the tax agency, the hospital allegedly failed to remit the withholding tax from November 2015 up to June this year.

“Lourdes Medical electronically filed a return but they did not pay the taxes indicated in the returns that they filed,” said BIR Assistant Commissioner Atty. James Roldan.

A BIR official also said the hospital management could also be liable for estafa.

A certain Jeric Maninang who is a contractor from San Fernando, Pampanga was also charged with tax evasion.

This after 60 boxes of cigarettes bearing fake tax stamps were seized from a truck belonging to his company.

“One hundred percent of the total stamps tested on the cigarette packs loaded in the truck was found to be fake and confiscated,” said Roldan.

The BIR is running after him for over 12-million pesos in unpaid excise tax. — Roderic Mendoza | UNTV News & Rescue

 

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DFA to accept e-payments next year for passport applications

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, December 7th, 2017

IMAGE_UNTV_NEWS_120617_Passport Application

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) shall implement the electronic payment of passports for citizens who wish to apply for a passport or renew one in 2018.

DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said DFA is completing the system for the online appointment of passports.

To avoid the surge of online appointments, the DFA is also considering to forfeit the payments of those who will not appear on their scheduled appointments.

“Kung meron nang e-payment (once e-payment is in place), when you make your appointment, we will get either 50% or 100% pag hindi ka dumating (when you don’t appear). So that should take away all of this,” Cayetano said.

The DFA meanwhile clarified that passports may be immediately available for senior citizens, single parents,
persons with disabilities or PWD’s, children below 7 years old accompanied by siblings or parents, and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) even for their first trip outside the country.

The DFA will also deploy mobile passport processing units to bring passport processing closer and more accessible for the public. – UNTV News & Rescue

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