House passes three tax measures on 3rd reading

  • THE House of Representatives on 3 Dec 18 approved on third and final reading measures increasing excise tax on alcohol and tobacco products and simplifying taxes on financial products.
  • With 187 affirmative votes, seven negative votes and one abstention, House Bill No. 8677 which proposed to increase excise tax on tobacco products anew to raise revenue as well as discourage consumption, was passed by the chamber.
  • The bill proposed to increase excise tax on tobacco products by PHP2.50 annually until it reaches PHP45 per pack in 2022, and by 4% annually thereafter. The Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law had increased the excise tax on cigarettes to PHP32.50 from PHP30 in Jan 18.
  • The measure is intended to “raise additional revenue to fund the Universal Health Care (UHC) program of the government,” as stated in the bill’s Committee Report. Its counterpart measures, Senate Bills 1599 and 1605, meanwhile, remain pending at the committee level.
  • Also on 3 Dec 18, the chamber voted 189-7 to approve on third reading the measure increasing excise tax imposed on alcohol products. The tax measures on alcohol and tobacco products form part of the Package 2 plus of the comprehensive tax reform program (CTRP).
  • House Bill No. 8618 proposed to increase excise tax on distilled spirits to 22% from 20% ad valorem tax on the net retail price (NRP) per proof and a specific tax rate of PHP30 per liter from PHP23.40 in 2019. The specific tax rate will then be increased by PHP5 every year, until it reaches PHP45 in 2022, to increase by 7% annually beginning 2023.
  • House Bill No. 8645, or the proposed Passive Income and Financial Intermediary Taxation Act, likewise passed on final reading with a vote of 190-7.
  • House Bill No. 8645, among others proposed to impose a unified 15% income tax rate on interest, dividend, and capital gains from the current zero to 30% range.

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