Philippines: Senate to finally begin hearings on TRAIN-II

  • THE SENATE on 26 Sep 18 will hold its first public hearing on the second tax reform package, with senators expected to scrutinize the rationalization of fiscal incentives provisions and its possible effects on jobs and prices.
  • Senator Juan Edgardo M. Angara, chairman of the Senate Ways and Means committee, said the panel will try to strike a balance between streamlining fiscal incentives, which the Finance department has blamed for billions of pesos in foregone revenues yearly, and keeping the Philippines’ investment lure and jobs intact.
  • The committee will tackle Senate Bill No. 1906, or the proposed Corporate Income Tax and Incentives Reform Act authored by Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III, as well as separate bills cutting the corporate income tax (CIT) rate and rationalizing fiscal incentives, proposed amendments to the Tax Incentives Management and Transparency Act and other tax administration reforms.
  • The House of Representatives approved its version – House Bill No. 8083 or the Tax Reform for Attracting Better and High-Quality Opportunities (TRABAHO) – on third and final reading on 10 Sep 18.
  • Senate Bill No. 1906 cuts the CIT rate to 25% from 30% in the first year of the implementation. That compares to HB 8083 which gradually reduces CIT rate to 20% by two percentage points every other year starting 2021.
  • It also seeks to repeal special laws on fiscal incentives and consolidate all such perks in a single measure.
  • The senator said he will also take a look at the provisions that remove the preferential income tax rate for proprietary education institutions and hospitals and incentives of imported books or raw materials to be used in book publishing under Republic Act No. 8047, or the Book Publishing Industry Development Act.

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