House preparing ‘counterproposal’ to Executive’s first tax reform bill

October 4, 2016 at 15:30

House preparing ‘counterproposal’ to Executive’s first tax reform bill

Posted on October 04, 2016

THE HOUSE of Representatives is preparing a “counterproposal” to the first tax reform package submitted by the Department of Finance (DoF) on Monday last week, Speaker Pantaleon D. Alvarez told reporters yesterday.

“We will request a meeting with the Department of Finance para ma-discuss kasi meron tayong ginagawang parang counterproposal doon sa (in order to discuss a counterprosal to the Executive’s submitted) tax measures,” Mr. Alvarez said at a press conference at the Batasang Pambansa Complex in Quezon City.
The draft bill — the first of four sets of reforms to be submitted by DoF that aim to make the country’s tax system more progressive — consists of restructuring the personal income tax system, expanding the value-added tax base by reducing exemptions, increasing excise taxes on petroleum products, as well as restructuring the excise tax on automobiles except for buses, trucks, cargo vans, jeeps, jeepney substitutes and special purpose vehicles.

Mr. Alvarez had said in a radio interview last week that he would have wanted to see in the first package measures to improve tax administration ahead of any proposal to increase current rates, add new taxes or remove exemptions of sectors deemed vulnerable like senior citizens and the disabled.

“Initially, nakita ko, siguro kailangang i-review, dahil (I have seen that the proposals have to be reviewed because) — as I’ve said — the leadership of this Congress… will never be a rubber stamp of the administration,” Mr. Alvarez said yesterday, even as he declined to give details of changes.

Wala pa; kinukumpleto pa natin (There are no details yet because we are completing the counterproposal),” he added, saying the Ways and Means committee is on top of this effort.

A check with the committee showed it had yet to meet on the Executive’s draft bill.

The Duterte administration’s tax reform program — in the initial form presented to lawmakers in the middle of September — was estimated to yield P368.1 billion in cumulative net collections over a three-year period as P566.4 billion in projected overall gains were expected to offset P198.3 billion to be foregone. The draft revised lower personal income tax submitted last week is now projected to result in P180 billion in foregone revenue, compared to P159 billion previously estimated.

The DoF is also preparing to offer tax amnesties for delinquents in estate tax, “regular taxes”, local real property tax and for tax cases with the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III had announced in a tax reform forum last week. — RFJ


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