Cayetano open to lower corporate income tax
MANILA, Philippines—Senator Pia Cayetano on Wednesday said she is open to lowering corporate income tax rates in the country, noting that high tax rates in the Philippines paint a “not very inviting picture to investors.”
Cayetano said this a week after a key tax reform bill that cuts corporate income tax rates hurdled the committee level of the House of Representatives.
The senator chairs the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, the panel in charge of tackling tax-related measures in the upper chamber.
“We have one of the highest tax rates in corporate Asia. That paints a not very inviting picture to investors. If we want to be competitive with our Asean neighbors, one thing that we can do is to reduce the corporate income tax rate,” Cayetano said at the Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum.
Cayetano also pointed out that the government is also losing revenue due to the gaps in the Philippines’ policies on granting incentives to different businesses.
“We have so many agencies offering different kinds of (incentives). Tayo lang pala ang may forever. In other countries, they put a timeline,” she said.
“And despite our incentives, we are still not the go-to place for investors in Southeast Asia,” Cayetano added.
The House Ways and Means Committee recently approved House Bill No. 313, or the proposed “Corporate Income Tax and Incentives Reform Act,” or Citira.
In the 17th Congress, Citira is known as the “Tax Reform for Attracting Better and High-quality Opportunities” or the Trabaho Bill, which President Rodrigo Duterte identified as a priority bill during his fourth State of the Nation Address.
Citira seeks to slash the current 30 percent corporate income tax rate by two percentage points every other year to 20 percent in 2029 and rationalize all fiscal incentives under one omnibus code. /je
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