Arroyos seek additional tax exemption for taxpayers who take care of their elderly parents

PAMPANGA Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (2nd District,) and her son Rep. Diosdado Arroyo (2nd District, Camarines Sur) are both seeking additional personal exemption for individual taxpayers who take care of their elderly parents.

According to the Arroyos, by including parents who are senior citizens as dependents, the State will relieve taxpayers from tax burdens and allow them to save money which can be used to meet the nutrition, education, medicines and other basic needs of their other dependents.

Another rationale behind the filing of the proposal embodied in House Bill 6489 according to the solons is that while Republic Act 7432, otherwise known as “An Act to Maximize the Contribution of Senior Citizens to Nation-Building, Grant Benefits and Special Privileges and For Other Purposes,” was enacted to give assistance to individuals who take care of their elderly parents, such privilege, however, was not expressly provided under RA 8424 or the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997 and in any of its implementing rules and regulations.

The former President said because of this, there is a need to legislate anew this matter by incorporating it in RA 8424, as amended, in order for individual taxpayers to fully avail of this additional tax exemption.

She said despite entailing additional expenses in looking after their aging parents, it does not seem to matter for the ordinary Filipino family who would rather personally take care of their parents rather than entrust them to other people.

“Many family members today face economic difficulties due to the high cost of living. In some instances, it is common to find households where both spouses work to support their children and provide care for their aging parents,” said Mrs. Arroyo.

The younger Arroyo for his part noted one praiseworthy Filipino value is devotion to family ties. Married children take care of their parents by supporting them during their twilight years as an act of gratitude for all their pains and sacrifices according to him.

“Thus, it is not surprising to see family members who provide their aging parents a wide array of assistance from medications, adult healthcare and in some cases, medical procedures. And since family is the backbone of the long-term health care system in the Philippines, children always make sure that care for older persons is left in the
hands of family members,” he said.

In HB 6489, the lawmakers sought the amendment of Paragraph (B) of Section 35 of RA 8424 so that “An additional exemption of P25,000.00 for each elderly parent shall likewise be allowed to the individual taxpayers. Provided, that the elderly parent is chiefly dependent on and living with the taxpayer.”

The amended subsection also defines dependent as “a legitimate, illegitimate or legally adopted child chiefly dependent upon living with the taxpayer if such dependent is not more than 21 years of age, unmarried and not gainfully employed or an elderly parent who is at least 60 years old with no means of support or if such dependent, regardless of age, is incapable of self-support because of mental or physical defect.”

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