Senate told to pay taxes on perks


The Commission on Audit (COA) has urged the Senate to pay taxes on the six-figure bonuses received by about 1,500 Senate officers and employees even though the Senate leadership has declared these perks to be tax-exempt.

In its report on the Senate’s 2011 financial performance, the COA said the P107.054 million in withholding taxes remitted by the Senate last year was deficient as it did not include taxes on more than a dozen bonus packages that should be subjected to a 32-percent final tax.

The perks granted to Senate employees that the COA said should have been subjected to taxes were food subsidy (P500 per month), transition allowance (P200 per month), hospitalization benefits, longevity incentive benefit, medical allowance (P300), clothing allowance, educational assistance (P35,000), midyear economic assistance (equal to one month pay), midyear rice allowance (P15,000), efficiency incentive benefits (equal to one-month pay), cost-of-living allowance (equal to one-month  pay), inflationary adjustment assistance (P12,200), financial relief assistance (P10,000), rice allowance (P15,000), grocery allowance (P8,000), additional food subsidy (P3,000), yearend package, and anniversary bonus.

“These personnel benefits are taxable income subject to withholding tax on the excess over their respective ceilings provided under Revenue Regulation 5-2011. It shall be considered as part of ‘other benefits’ and the employee receiving it will be subject to tax on the excess over P30,000 per annum ceiling per Revenue Regulation 10-2008,” the COA said.

Senate leaders led by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile have argued that some of these benefits were considered fringe benefits, and therefore not taxable under Section 33 of Republic Act 8424, or the National Internal Revenue Code.

The COA said it was not disputing that some of the benefits granted to the rank-and-file employees were clearly tax-exempt.

But fringe benefits granted to personnel who are not classified as rank-and-file such as supervising legislative staff officers and managerial officers with the rank of director and above were another matter, the COA said.

It cited Revenue Regulation No. 5-2011 which defines fringe benefits which are not taxable as minimal benefits.

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  • Platypus09

    I agree. 

    They don’t need so much money. 

    They need to pay the government their dues or what belongs to the government. 

  • EOJ

    Six-figure bonuses??? Dafuq!!!

    Tax them!!!

  • Anthony

    mga walang hiya nga naman  oh…bakit di bayaran ang taxes is pera ng bayan yan at di yan galing sa bulsa in JPE or any senator.

  • dodong1

    dami talagang magnanakw sa ating mga politiko..MALASWA MALASWA..dami ng kotong ayaw pang magbayad ng buwis…bwisit talaga…

  • Anthony

    These payaso in the Senate should pay the taxes kasi pag hindi yan transparent eh baka kahit di binigay eh sinabing ibinigay.  That’s why we need the FOI Asap.

  • John_Galt_II

    No wonder why it is more lucrative to work in the government than in the private sector. Just screw the taxpayers!

  • Wee

    Sobra naman po ang tinatangap ng mga nasa Senado. Let there be a fair playing field for all government employees. And meritocracy be a strong basis. I dont want to remove any what is rightfully theirs and i want the government to pay more for outstanding performance, at para sa akin, may kalabisan ang binibigay sa mga Senate employees. And they need to pay taxes just like all Pinoys!

  • Luthmar

    I wonder what kind of work these 1,500 employees do to deserve so many allowances.  Has the Senate forgotten that it is the ordinary employees who pay the correct taxes (deducted from their salaries) that pay those salaries?  In the other civilised world any bonuses, allowances, perks or whatever it is called are still considered income.  Thus, they should be taxed.

    My relative was a banker.  He refused to accept any perks, allowances (in cash), etc. because he would pay so much more in taxes.   He often opted for stocks because only the income/dividends were taxed; but, it’s another story if the stocks would be sold. 


    Maybe JPE thinks that the senate employees are in the short end since this agency is not a revenue making agency.. Unlike the LTO’s, BI’s, Customs, DPWH’s etc etc were kotongs are very rampant and their employees does not need any perks or fringe benefits…

  • otoling


  • otoling

    Napakalaking kaga-gohan ang pina-iiral ng Senado sa empleyado nila.  Sila ang mga magnanakaw ng pera ng bayan.

  • Jimmy

    Ano bang dami ng allowance na yan..!!!  ????? Ang daming Pinoy na naghihirap eh yon pala ay mga empleyado ng senado ang nagpapasarap…!!!! Malalaki na nga ang tinatanggap ay ayaw pang magbayad ng buwis..!!! Marami pa siguro sa mga empleyado ng gobyerno ang ganyan..!!! Kailangang maituwid yang mga kabaluktutang yan..!!! Tanggalin si Enrile…!!!!

  • buttones

    All fringe benefits should be taxed that benefit the recipient in a pecuniary way, including the provision of a car, which I suspect is used more for private than work related use. Private industry cannot hand out bonuses to their employees without deducting tax can they? What are all these ‘benefits’- just pay people a proper salary, tax it. Rice allowance indeed, grocery allowance? This is sheer madness…..

  • blainz

    JPE certainly rolled out the gravy train in buying the Senate employee’s loyalties. With untaxed allowances like that, the salary is almost out of the question for most people.

    Does the Senate really need 1,500 employees? That seems excessive in itself, being more than 60 employees per senator.

  • Jack

    how lucky they are. anybody here knows how to get employed in the senate? is the taxwoman is afraid of them and can not enforce  taxation on them? 

  • agustin

    The Senate is so powerful that any body who oppose their will or decision will be detained for indefinite time. BIR ,COA  be careful of what you say because Enrile was the chief implementor of Marcos Martial Law and his senate leadership can be liken to Martial  Law.

  • epenaper

    Six-figure bonuses for each employee? Is it even a question that we should tax them?

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