• Bill grants tax perks to first-time home buyers

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    A lawmaker is pushing for the passage of a measure that grants tax incentives to first-time home buyers in a bid to encourage more Filipinos to acquire their own home instead of renting.

    Sen. Sonny Angara in his Senate Bill 2148 seeks to provide tax relief in the form of home mortgage interest incentives that allows homeowners to deduct from their taxes the interest they pay on a qualified mortgage loan used for the purchase or construction of their first family home.

    Angara noted that despite the number of developers offering affordable housing options through low downpayments and easy payment terms, most individuals are unable to buy houses because of the interest rates imposed by banking institutions and the developers themselves.

    “By removing interest rates in the equation, potential homeowners will only have to pay the principal amount of the property,” Angara explained.

    Aside from providing tax savings, Angara’s proposed measure also aims to promote home ownership by encouraging families to purchase their own property instead of renting.

    The neophyte senator noted that due to the high cost of acquiring one’s own residence, more Filipinos are opting to rent instead.

    Under SB 2148, a qualified residence must be the first family home of the taxpayer and the value of the house must not exceed P2.5 million.
    A qualified taxpayer may still claim the privileges under the measure if he/she were a solo parent, and if the original family home was destroyed due to force majeure or was lost due to a valid expropriation by the government.

    The claimant must submit all the requisite documents to qualify, such as but not limited to the notarized deed of sale, a tax declaration, a bank assessment, loan documents, income tax returns and/or sworn statement of assets, liabilities and net worth and other documents as may be required under the implementing rules and regulations.

    The bill would amend for the purpose Section 34 of the National Internal Revenue Code of the Philippines.

    “With the passage of this bill, it is hoped that the shortage of decent housing would be addressed and our countrymen would have the opportunity to have a place of their own to call home,” he said.

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