DOF, BIR lobbying against P82,000 bonus tax cap
MANILA, Philippines–Finance and tax officials are lobbying for President Benigno Aquino III to veto the bill seeking to increase the tax-exemption cap on bonuses to P82,000, a House majority member said on Wednesday.
“I have received information that the Department of Finance (DOF) and Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) have been heavily lobbying with the President to veto the bill,” Marikina City Representative Romero Quimbo, chair of the ways and means committee, said in an interview.
Quimbo said the bill was transmitted to Aquino for his signature on January 14. The President has yet to sign the bill, which was ratified by the lower chamber after it adopted the Senate version.
The bill will become a law if it does not get vetoed by the President after 30 calendar days.
Quimbo said the DOF proposed as an alternative to the President an administration order raising the current P30,000 tax exemption cap on 13th month pay and bonuses to P50,000.
The lawmaker said the DOF and BIR officials were against the bill because of possible revenue loss, which they warned could reach P30 billion.
But Quimbo said the officials’ estimates were “bloated.”
“They have yet to tell me (their reasons) but obviously they feel that there will be a revenue loss, which we have disproven,” Quimbo said.
Quimbo said revenue loss due to the proposed measure could only reach P3.8 billion.
Under the bill, the tax exemption covers all bonuses, including 13th month pay and Christmas bonus.
The bill seeks to increase the tax ceiling cap, amending for this purpose Section 32(B)(7)(E) of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997.
The House adopted the Senate version of the bill increasing the cap at P82,000. The House version was originally for a P70,000 cap.
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