Philippines: DOF pushes tax reform passage within 15 to 18 months

  • The Department of Finance (DOF) is pushing for Congress to approve the government’s tax reform program within the next 15 to 18 months, according to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez.
  • Dominguez said the DOF is targeting to have the government’s Comprehensive Tax Reform Program (CTRP), particularly the proposed increase in excise taxes on alcohol and electronic cigarette products, be passed by Congress before 2021 or before election season starts again.
  • According to the finance chief, this 15 to 18-month time frame would be the “most productive time” to push for the tax reform program.
  • Earlier, the DOF listed the passage of the CTRP as one of the five priority economic programs of the government in the second half of the Duterte administration.
  • Dominguez expressed “very high” confidence that the 18th Congress would support the remaining tax measures.
  • The DOF earlier said it reorganized its personnel, creating a team in 2018, the government started the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law, which cut personal income tax rates, while increasing excise taxes on fuel, automobile, coal, and sugar-sweetened beverages, and expanding the tax base by removing value-added tax exemptions.
  • Data from the DOF showed that the law generated PHP68.4bn in net revenue in 2018, 8.1% higher than the full-year target of PHP63.3bn.

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