January 17, 2017
SENIORS, PWDS TO KEEP VAT EXEMPTION - ANGARA
The Department of Finance (DOF) is coming up with a revised tax reform proposal, which, among others, keeps the value added tax (VAT) exemption benefits of senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs), following the public hearing conducted by the Senate on such proposal.
The DOF has recently presented to Senator Sonny Angara, chairman of the ways and means committee, the latest draft of the revised version of the first of six packages of the Duterte administration's comprehensive tax reform program. Package 1 seeks to lower personal income tax rates, broaden the VAT base, and adjust excise taxes of petroleum products and automobiles.
"The DOF is open to retaining the VAT exemption of senior citizens and PWDs. Ibig sabihin po nito ay nakikinig ang ating administrasyon sa ating mga panawagan at sa hinaing ng taumbayan. Patuloy po tayong makikipag-ugnayan sa ating mga economic manager para makabuo ng isang komprehensibong tax reform program na patas, progresibo at hindi magiging pabigat sa ordinaryong Pilipino," said Angara, who were among those who opposed the removal of the VAT exemption.
DOF's initial proposal seeks to expand the VAT base by limiting exemptions to raw food, education and health thus repealing laws exempting senior citizens and PWDs from VAT.
During the Senate ways and means committee hearing last October, senior citizens and PWD groups voiced out their disapproval on such move.
Republic Act 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010, which grants VAT exemption to senior citizens, was co-authored by Angara during his days in Congress while his father, former Senate President Edgardo Angara, is known as the father of the senior citizens law.
Republic Act 10754, which exempts PWDs from VAT, was also sponsored by Angara. It was only signed into law in March last year and was only implemented in December.
At present, approximately 7.5 million senior citizens and 1.4 million PWDs are entitled to such perks.
While the DOF is finalizing its proposal, the senator said he would continue to conduct more public hearings on the comprehensive tax reform program to get significant data and hear the comments of various stakeholders.
The next Senate ways and means committee hearing on the comprehensive tax reform is tentatively set on January 25.
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