Bello orders study on new tax measure

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THE Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) has created a Technical Working Group (TWG) to study the proposed Tax Reform and Inclusion (Train) Act amid mix reactions on the tax measure’s impact on workers’ income.

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Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello 3rd has issued Administrative Order (AO) 460 constituting the TWG to study the proposed tax measure and conduct a series of consultations among labor and employers’ groups, the academe and economic experts and other stakeholders.

The TWG is headed by the Assistant Secretary for Employment and Policy Support and composed of the heads of the Institute for Labor Studies (ILS), Legislative Liaison Office (LLO), National Wages and Productivity Commission, Bureau of Local Employment, Bureau of Labor Relations, Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns, Legal Service and Planning Service as members.

The ILS also serves as the Secretariat responsible for the inter-agency coordination and monitoring while the LLO is tasked to regularly report on the status of the proposed legislation.

The House of Representatives has approved House Bill (HB) 4774, its version of the proposed tax measure, while its counterpart Senate Bill 1409 is pending consideration.

The Department of Finance (DoF) said the Senate version aims to benefit 99 percent of Filipinos by increasing their take-home pay through income tax cuts and by providing social protection measures, such as targeted cash transfer programs for the country’s poor and vulnerable sectors.

The Train provides complete exemption for the first P150,000 annual taxable income and retains the P82,000 tax exemption for 13th month pay and other bonuses.

It sets the maximum additional tax exemption for up to four dependents at P100,000, giving a worker with four dependents an approximate tax-free monthly income of P25,000.

The original DoF proposal for Train outlined in HB 4774 aims to lower personal income taxes while raising an additional P157 billion in net incremental revenues during the first year of its implementation in 2018.
The House version approved a P134-billion package.

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