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Unspent campaign contributions are taxable income if not returned to donor, says Comelec chairman


Candidates may keep whatever campaign contributions they have left after the recent polls, but they would have to pay income tax, poll chief Sixto Brillantes Jr. said.
 
The taxable income is computed by deducting total expenses from contributions.
  
"They can keep the money but that is income. That will be subjected to tax if they don’t return it to the donor," said Brillantes on Friday, adding that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) would be assisted by the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
 
According to available statements of election contributions and expenditures (SOCE),  Nancy Binay of the United Nationalist Alliance earned the most income at P8,174,341.68.
 
She is followed by independent candidate Ramon Montano with an income of P5,246,175.00. 
 
Team PNoy's Bam Aquino comes in at third with an income of P1,165,012.19, LP Coalition's Chiz Escudero at P746,690.90, and UNA's Jack Enrile - the senatorial bet with the most expenses - at  P396,838.09. 
 
Surprise frontrunner Grace Poe of Team PNoy earned P156,346.41. 
 
So far, those who spent more than their contributions are: Loren Legarda, Cynthia Villar, Antonio Trillanes IV, Alan Peter Cayetano, Sonny Angara, Jun Magsaysay, Jamby Madrigal, Ricardo Penson, Ernesto Maceda, Christian Seneres, Baldomero Falcone, and Eddie Vilanueva.
 
There are still no data available to the media for the rest of senatorial bets.
 
According to Republic Act 7166, every candidate and treasurer of a political party shall be required to file an itemized statement of all contributions and expenditures within 30 days after Election Day. The deadline was on June 13, 5 p.m. but the candidates were given a grace period that ends June 30.
 
Failure to submit SOCEs is penalized with an administrative fine from P2,000 to P30,000 for the first offense, and from P2,000 to P60,000 for second offense, depending on the position, according to Comelec Resolution No. 9476.
 
While failure to file SOCEs is not a criminal act, it can be penalized with disqualification from holding public office, the law states.
 
Brillantes said those who failed to submit SOCEs in two elections will be disqualified from running for public office. Meanwhile, those who failed to submit SOCEs before June 30 will not be able to assume office. — Marc Jayson Cayabyab/KBK/ELR, GMA News
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