House panel OKs bill easing payment of taxes
MANILA, Philippines — The House committee on ways and means approved Monday the bill seeking to ease settlement of taxes and codify a bill of rights for taxpayers in the country.
During its meeting, the committee approved House Bill No. 7881 or the “Ease of Paying Taxes Act” filed by Albay Rep. Joey Salceda which seeks to protect taxpayer welfare.
Under the bill, taxpayers, including overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), will be able to apply for tax identification numbers, file and pay taxes, without the need for physical appearance.
Forms are also expected to be significantly reduced for small and medium taxpayers, Salceda said.
Salceda said that the bill also seeks to unify the requirement for VAT documentation, requiring only an invoice instead of both an invoice and a receipt.
In filing the measure, Salceda said that the bill seeks to improve “tax morale” or the enthusiasm of taxpayers to meet their tax obligations.
“One of the roots of our lack of competitiveness is low tax morale. People aren’t excited to pay taxes because the process is tedious, and open to abuse and rent-seeking,” Salceda said.
Moreover, the bill also seeks to institutionalize the taxpayers bill of rights which include the following:
- Right to pay no more than the correct amount of tax
- Right to a fair and impartial appeal
- Right to timely and easy to understand information
- Right to quality tax education and service
- Right to the consistent and transparent application of the law
- Right to have the cost of compliance respected whenever tax rules are prepared and enforced
- Right to privacy and confidentiality of information, unless authorized by the taxpayer or by law
- Right to speedy disposition of cases, assessments, audits, investigation and other similar actions
- Right to finality of tax cases, including, but not limited to, agreement on the amount of tax due
- Right to be protected and seek redress against malicious, excessive and wrongful assessments
“This is the first ever tax reform dedicated exclusively to making the taxpayer’s experience easier. I anticipate very quick approval in the House, especially since even my colleagues in the minority are co-authors and supporters,” Salceda said.
The bill will be brought to the plenary for further debates before it can be approved on second and third reading.
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