Solon seeks more gross benefits for wage earners

A party-list solon is seeking an amendment of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC) of 1997 to increase the tax exemption for all earners and provide additional exemptions for individuals especially the fringe benefits of the working class.

Rep. Catalina Cabrera-Bagasina (Party-list, ALE) said lowering the taxes paid by the lower class will greatly improve their economic standing and further empower them to completely eradicate poverty, if not alleviate them from it.

Through House Bill 6092 or the proposed Tax Reform Act of 2012, Bagasina proposed the amendment in particular of Section 32(B) of Republic Act 8424, otherwise known as the NIRC of 1997.

She said it is the declared policy of the State to promote sustainable economic growth through the rationalization of the country’s internal revenue tax system, including tax administration.

“This is to provide, as much as possible : an equitable relief to a greater number of taxpayers in order to improve levels of disposable income and increase economic activity; and create a robust environment for business to enable firms to compete better in the regional as well as the global market at the same time that the State ensures the government is able to provide for the needs of those under its jurisdiction and care,” said Bagasina, a member of the House Committee on Labor and Employment.

In her proposal, Bagasina sought the further amendment of Section 32(B) (7) (E) of the NIRC on the exclusion from gross income of the 13th month pay and other benefits, so that the gross benefits received by officials and employees of public and private entities under this subparagraph shall not exceed P100,000. The law presently provides it shall not exceed P30,000.

For other benefits such as productivity incentives and Christmas bonuses, the bill provides that a ceiling of P100,000 may be increased through rules and regulations issued by the Secretary of Finance, upon recommendation of the Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner, after considering among others, the effect on the same of the inflation rate at the end of the taxable year. The law presently provides for a ceiling of P30,000.

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