Solons back BIR plan to tax excess poll funds
House legislators on Wednesday gave their support to a Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) plan to slap taxes on excess campaign contributions but expressed doubts on how the agency would determine how much to tax.
Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara said that while this was a welcome move to boost government revenues, the BIR has yet to spell out how it would go about administering and enforcing it.
Zambales Rep. Milagros Magsaysay she did not mind the BIR move as she recognized the agency was desperate to raise funds. She noted that the government was scrambling to keep the deficit within target because declining tax and duty collections.
Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez said he doubted whether the politicians and the BIR would agree on how much should be taxed from their campaign contributions.
“I don’t how they can determine and agree on how much was in excess,’’ he said.
Under the Omnibus Election Code, campaign contributions are exempt from the donor’s tax of between 2 percent and 15 percent. Recipients are required to submit a statement of expenditures where the unused campaign contributions are booked as a windfall gain.
The BIR’s Revenue Regulation 7-2011 issued last June 14 will now require politicians to declare these excess campaign funds as income subject to the standard taxes.
The BIR’s move is meant to go after politicians who, win or lose, earn millions in every election from their unused campaign funds.
Aside from the BIR, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has also revealed plans to create a new office to monitor campaign donations and expenses, beginning with the 2013 midterm elections.