Senate ratifies bill giving disabled persons VAT exemption, tax relief to caretakers
MANILA, Philippines — The Senate ratified on Tuesday, the bicameral committee version of the bill that would expand the benefits that persons with disabilities receive and provide some tax relief to people taking care of them.
The bill, which would amend the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons, would exempt PWDs from paying the value added tax. This would be on top of the 20 percent discount that they are entitled to receive for certain goods and services.
The bill would also allow their relatives taking care of them to claim a tax deduction of P25,000 in their annual income tax.
This would apply to relatives up to the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity.
Sen. Sonny Angara, who sponsored the bill on the floor, said the additional VAT exemption would enable the differently abled to avail themselves of basic needs such as food, medicine, and medical equipment.
The tax deduction to be claimed by their caretakers would also provide a form of tax relief, said Angara.
Sen. Ralph Recto, a member of the bicameral conference committee, also said the bill was in response “to the reality that millions of families today have turned their residences into homes for the aged or infirm.”
Recto also said the P25,000 tax deduction might not seem much and would hardly cover the cost of taking care of a differently abled person.
“It is, however, a good start. At least we’re ending the government embargo on this kind of tax credit,” he said. SFM
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