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Senate committee files own version of tax reform package


Months after the House of Representatives approved the first package of the Duterte administration's comprehensive tax reform program, the Senate committee on ways and means submitted on Wednesday its version of the measure.

The Senate panel, chaired by Senator Juan Edgardo Angara, filed the Senate Bill No. 1592—its version of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act (TRAIN)—which aims to reduce personal income tax rates and at same time impose excise taxes on sugar sweetened beverages and automobiles, expand value-added tax base as revenue compensating measure.

"Finally, after 20 years, it’s time for tax reform. It’s time to give them back more purchasing power.  It’s time to give our workers what’s due them," Angara said in his sponsorship speech.

Under the ways and means committee's TRAIN, the first P150,000 annual taxable income will be exempted.

"Magiging P250,000 ito kapag may apat na anak ang taxpayer," Angara said.

"Ibig sabihin, ang sinuman na may apat na dependent at kumikita ng hanggang P25,000 kada buwan ay exempted na mula sa income tax. Ito’y humahalili sa pangako ni Pangulong Duterte sa kanyang kampanya nitong nakaraang taon at mula nang siya’y naupo. Pangakong natupad kung maipasa po natin itong TRAIN," Angara added.

Under the Senate panel's version, up to P82,000 of 13th month pay and other bonuses as well as a maximum of P100,000 in additional exemption for up to four dependents will remain tax free.

Citing data from the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the Senate ways and means committee report said 99 percent of the estimated 7.5 million individual income taxpayers will benefit from lower income tax rates.

“Our workers are finally getting the tax relief due them. We have been advocating the reform of our income tax brackets and rates for several years now to put more money in people’s pockets,” Angara said.

A teacher who has two dependents, with a monthly income of about P17,254—currently taxed at 20 percent—will no longer have to pay taxes.

The teacher will be able to take home a bigger pay and save roughly P13,176 in annual taxes or P1,098 in monthly savings, the senator said.

“Para na rin po tayong nagbigay ng 14th month pay sa ating mga kababayan. Lalaki na ang maiuuwing sahod o kita ng mga Pilipino sa kanilang pamilya. Sa extra na take-home pay, may extra para sa pagkain ng pamilya, para sa upa ng bahay, para sa damit at gatas ni baby, para sa matrikula, baon at school project ng mga bata, o kaya para sa gamot ni Lola o Lolo,” he said. — VDS, GMA News
 

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