Solon seeks tax exemption of Filipino boxers’ prizes and other money benefits

By on December 22, 2014

MANNY PACQUIAO retains his welterweight title. Photo courtesy of @HBOboxing on Twitter
MANNY PACQUIAO retains his welterweight title. Photo courtesy of @HBOboxing on Twitter

MANILA — A lawmaker is seeking to exempt Filipino boxers from paying tax out of the prize and money benefits they derived from boxing competition.

Rep. Emil L. Ong (2nd District, Northern Samar) said his proposal embodied in House Bill 5234 or the proposed “Filipino Boxers’ Benefits and Protection Act of 2014” aims to support all Filipino boxers who brought and will bring honor to the country despite the risk in their lives and limbs.

“The proposal is in line with the constitutional provision pertaining to the promotion of sports and aims to enable Filipino boxers enjoy their winnings by making these tax-exempt,” said Ong.

“The tax exemption is an incentive that must be given and enjoyed by our boxers, just like American boxers,” said Ong, a Vice Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations.

He said boxers actually earn income on a seasonal basis only, that is, income on a per fight basis. “As distinguished from other taxpayers, Filipino boxers only enjoy the prize of their winnings for a limited period of time. Hence, the remainder of their income from winnings after taxes is what is left for a lifetime support for the boxer and his family,” said Ong.

The lawmaker explained that hosting a boxing event provides economic benefits to the host country hence, boxing becomes a source of income for the locals and the government. “The economic benefit the boxers bring to the host country and the honor they bring home when they win make boxing a lucrative sports competition,” said Ong.

“Boxers are the principal players of boxing as a sports event. It is worthy to recognize their role through legislation that will exempt them from paying takes out of their prizes from winnings and money benefits derived from winning subject to certain exceptions,” said Ong.

House Bill 5234, now pending at the Committee on Ways and Means chaired by Rep. Miro Quimbo (2nd District, Marikina City) provides that all Filipino boxers shall be exempt from paying taxes out of the income derived from prizes and money benefits from winnings in boxing competition. The tax exemption, however, does not cover income derived from commercial advertisements or endorsements from products of the Filipino boxers.

It assigns the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to promulgate the rules and regulation for the effective implementation of the bill once it is enacted into.