Philippines: DoF targets tax reform package approval by Jun 18

  • The Department of Finance (DoF) hopes to have the follow-up “Package 1-B” approved on final reading by both houses of Congress before 1 Jun 18, after missing its initial 1Q18 target.
  • In a 27 Mar 18 interview, Finance Undersecretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua told reporters that “the original target that it be passed by both Houses before recess did not happen.”
  • Asked for the DoF’s new timetable, Mr. Chua said: “They have three weeks when they come back in May 18 before they have recess again on 1 Jun 18, after that then it will be in Jul 18. So (I hope approval happens) in the next session before 1 Jun 18,” referring to the third and final reading of the bills in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
  • The package concerns an estate and general tax amnesty with the easing of the Bank Secrecy Law, and an increase in the motor vehicle user charge — which are follow-up measures to Republic Act No. 10963 or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) that was enacted on 19 Dec 17.
  • “In the Senate, Senator [Emmanuel D.] Pacquiao went ahead and filed the one on the fund and the Road Board, but not the one in the increase in the rates. So we are requesting Senate President [Aquilino L.] Pimentel [III] to file the rate legislation,” Mr. Chua said.
  • Apart from package 1-B, the DoF expects four more tax reform packages to be ratified by Congress before 2019 – an election year – including the ones covering corporate income tax reform, increases in alcohol and tobacco excise taxes, comprehensive fiscal reform for the mining sector, adjustments in property taxation and valuation, as well as the capital income and financial tax reform package.
  • “Any time there’s an election, the dynamics change that’s why in the first hundred days we filed the first package, and in the first few days of the year we filed the second,” Mr. Chua said.

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