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Marcos: Pay correct taxes on time, support economic recovery

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Tuesday called on the Filipinos to pay taxes on time to help the country's road to economic recovery.

"I encourage the public to pay the correct amount of taxes on time to support the country’s economic recovery and expansion so critical in this time," Marcos said at the launch of the 2023 National Tax Campaign Kickoff of the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

"It is my confidence that you will continue to cooperate, collaborate, and coordinate with the government on how to improve the experience of our tax collection system," he added.

Marcos said the BIR was "firm and resolute in modernizing the services and elevating our people’s experiences by utilizing reliable, scalable, robust, sustainable technologies and infrastructure for our country’s tax collection."

"As we move forward to the future, the importance of utilizing modern and updated technology to ensure a more tax [efficient] collection becomes absolutely imperative," Marcos said.

CARMMA statement

Human rights and Martial Law victims group Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses and Martial Law (CARMMA), meanwhile, said that if the BIR is "truly serious" about going after tax evaders, it should run after the President and his family by implementing the Supreme Court's ruling on the Marcos estate.

"CARMMA strongly reminds the BIR that its commitment is with the people and this is its biggest chance to prove that the agency shall not spare a single tax evader from paying his/her fair share of taxes," it said in a statement on Monday.

'Louis Vuitton tax'

Meanwhile, Marcos was asked by reporters during the launch about his stance on Albay Representative Joey Salceda's proposal to expand the imposition of luxury tax. Marcos says the proposal seems "reasonable".

"Well, I think because right now the tax on luxury goods only covers very specific items. And luxury goods, as those who have put in some study on these know, hindi nagbabago ang demand niyan kahit anong sitwasyon (the demand does not change in any situation)," explained Marcos.

"For the rest of us, who are not necessarily consumers of luxury goods ay ramdam natin kapag bumagsak ang ekonomiya, ngunit kung titingnan ninyo, ‘yung mga luxury items, ‘yung mga magagarang kotse, ‘yung mga designer na damit at saka mga bag, lahat, hindi nagbabago ang presyo niyan dahil may kaya ang mga bumibili. So palagay ko naman, it’s reasonable that we will tax the consumption side of those who are consuming luxury items," he added.

Salceda proposed the "Louis Vuitton tax" after non-profit group Oxfam International's Survival of the Richest Report showed nine richest Filipinos have more wealth than the bottom half (55 million) of the population. The lawmaker believes the additional taxes can generate at least P12.4 billion worth of government revenues. —NB/VAL/BM, GMA Integrated News