House seeks lowering income tax rates amid inflation

By , on September 7, 2015


The Plenary Hall, House of Representatives Complex, Constitution Hills, Quezon City (Photo by Malacañang Photo Bureau/Robert Viñas)
The Plenary Hall, House of Representatives Complex, Constitution Hills, Quezon City
(Photo by Malacañang Photo Bureau/Robert Viñas)

MANILA – The House of Representatives continued seeking the passage of the income tax reform bill, which would lower the personal and corporate income tax rates to address the impact of inflation on fixed-income workers.

“We’re just giving the applicable value of things when the tax code was approved [in 1997]. In other words, inflation is the problem – it’s eating up income and revenues,” Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. told radio station dzBB.

“The value of money is going down but the rates not only of income tax but also the penalties, like those for crimes for instance that are based on the amounts involved, they haven’t been resolved in a long time,” Belmonte said in a separate interview.

The House Ways and Means Committee has been deliberating proposals which sought to adjust income tax brackets to inflation. If approved, these would significantly reduce the dues of taxpayers.

Aware of the revenue losses the reform would entail, lawmakers have also been coming up with ‘compensatory measures.’

But with no clear and feasible measures proposed yet, the Department of Finance (DOF) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) have outright rejected adjusting income tax rates. They also asserted that the reform would lower government revenues.

Marikina Representative Romero Quimbo, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, however, would not settle with the ‘status quo’ because ‘that means no change for our overburdened workers.’

Quimbo earlier urged Malacañang to convene the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) ‘to sit down and see what the points of agreement and disagreements are’ regarding the House bill.

The Malacañang, however, repeatedly ignored his calls.