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HOUSE TO PASS KEY TAX BILLS – SALCEDA

The House Ways and Means Committee will sustain its commitment to fund President Rodrigo Duterte’s key infrastructure and human development priorities, its chairman, Albay Rep. Joey Salceda said.

Salceda said he will push for the passage in plenary of key tax measures that hurdled committee level, particularly: the tax regime for Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs), with an estimated P20 billion to P45 billion tax take; Motor Vehicle Road Users’ Tax with P16 billion in revenues: mining fiscal regime worth P2 billion of taxes; and tax on single-use plastics for P4 billion expected revenue.

Salceda said the panel would also improve tax administration by studying structural reforms in the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Bureau of Customs.

“We want to make taxpayer experience seamless.”

“We will likewise try to raise taxpayer morale by studying digital transformation of the revenue collection agencies. We want to make taxpayer experience seamless. The aim, ultimately, is to encourage tax compliance and deter tax avoidance,” the veteran legislator said.

“With a few tweaks in taxpayer experience, even if we improve compliance by just 1 percent of total BIR collections, that is already a revenue increase of about P22 billion. We can, of course, do much more,” the seasoned lawmaker added.

“The CITIRA is the single most important economic reform after EDSA.”

He noted that the most important priority next year will be to pass the Corporate Income Tax and Incentive Rationalization Act (CITIRA) which he described as the “single most important economic reform after EDSA.”

“I expect the Senate to pass CITIRA within the first two months of the new year. As the first proponent of a governing body for incentives, for me, one of the most crucial aspects of the reform will be the Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB),” Salceda said.

“No FIRB makes CITIRA meaningless. It’s the people’s seat at the table. Without reform, we will likely hit P500 billion in tax incentives next year, while still making domestic corporations pay the highest tax rates in ASEAN,” he added.

Salceda said he is also expecting the Passive Income and Financial Intermediaries Tax (PIFITA) and the Real Property Valuation and Assessment Reform Act (RPVRA) to pass in 2020.

“PIFITA will unlock the potential of our capital markets and encourage ordinary Filipinos to invest for their future. RPVRA will help complete Build, Build, Build by expediting right of way acquisition. Both are definitely crucial for growth,” he said. 

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