A lawmaker on Friday expressed optimism that the proposed income tax reform would have bigger chances of being enacted into law under the administration of incoming president Rodrigo Duterte based on the recent pronouncement of designated Finance secretary Carlos Dominguez.
Senator Juan Edgardo Angara also noted that Duterte has included tax reform in his 10-point socio-economic agenda particularly the update of income tax brackets and the lowering of corporate and individual tax rates.
“We’ve been pushing for income tax reform since we were elected in 2013 when we saw how outdated, unfair and oppressive our current system of taxation is,” said Angara who is set to chair the ways and means committee in the 17th congress.
Outgoing president Benigno Aquino 3rd and his economic managers have thumbed down proposals to lower income tax rates citing as reason the possible revenue loss of up to P30 billion.
It was Angara who introduce Senate Bill 2149 on February 2014 seeking to lower income tax rates across-the-board, reducing the highest tax rate from 32 to 25 percent, and to compress the tax brackets from seven to five.
The Aquino administration instead pushed for the passage of the Salary Standardization Law (SSL) IV that would increase the salaries of 1.3 million government employees but would cost the government more than P50 billion. Congress however failed to pass the proposed measure
Angara then filed SB 3003 on November 2015, this time to adjust the levels of taxable income to take into account inflation.
But because of the limited time Congress had, Angara’s new proposal was not even approved on the committee level.
Apart from income tax reform, the incoming administration also included in its 10-point economic agenda “ progressive tax reform and more effective tax collection, indexing taxes to inflation.”
A tax reform package will be submitted to Congress by September.