Thursday, March 6, 2014

Senate hopes BIR proposal for lower tax rates will come with PNoy certification

MANILA-One of the three senators who have filed bills seeking to reduce personal income tax rates today welcomed the statement of Bureau of Internal Revenue chief Kim Henares that the agency will draft its own proposal. 

“Coming from Commissioner Henares, that’s a great leap forward,” Senator Ralph Recto said. 

Recto said the Senate is looking forward to receiving what Henares described in a TV interview as BIR’s “holistic study” on the matter.

"When it is ready, I hope it would come to us with a presidential certification that is an urgent measure," Recto said. 

While the BIR is preparing its position, Recto said the upper chamber will continue “calling hearings and running some numbers on how to adjust income tax rates which were pegged 17 years ago.”

He said last week’s hearing by Senate Ways and Means chair Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara on various tax break bills was the start of  a process of recalibrating income tax brackets and rates.  

Discussed during the said hearing was Recto’s Senate Bill (SB) 716, Angara’s SB 2149, and Sen. Bam Aquino’s SB 1942.

In his bill’s explanatory note, Recto said when the present individual tax brackets and rates were imposed in 1997, the cost of goods was half than what it is now.

“The Consumer Price Index from 1998 to May 2013 almost doubled. The basket of goods costing P100 in 1998 was worth P196 in May last year,” he said.

He said Section 24 of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997 should be amended to reflect the erosion in the value of money.

Current tax rates, based on annual net taxable income, meaning after deductions are as follows :

Below P10,000                               5 %
P10,000 to not over P30,000         P500 + 10% in excess of P20,000
P30,000 to not over P70,000         P2,500 + 15%  in excess  of P30,000 
P70,000 to not over P140,000       P8,500 +20%  in excess of  P70,000
P140,000 to not over P250,000     P22,500 +25% in excess of P140,000
P 250,000 to not over P500,000    P50,000 +30% in excess of P250,000
P500,000 and up                            P125,000 + 32% in excess of P500,000

Recto is batting for a new schedule that would impose no tax on net income of below P20,000. 

For a net taxable income of below P60,000, a tax of 10 %; 15% for  P60,000 to not over P140,000; 20% for P140,000 to not over P280,000; P25 % for P280,000 to not over P500,000; 30 % for P500,000 to not over P1,000,000.      

He said his proposed tax rates can still be lowered if studies will show that government can absorb the foregone revenues.

“In reality, we can lower the rates further, but in lawmaking, we  have to veto-proof our proposals. The political reality is that eventually the final call is with the executive branch so we’re putting forward a set of proposal that they’ll find hard to veto,” he said. 


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