K-to-12 prompts bill on tax break threshold

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A lawmaker has pitched for a maximum age for taxpayers’ dependents at 23 years old or two years older than the existing 21-year-old threshold.

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Caloocan City (Metro Manila) Rep. Edgar Erice made the proposal on Tuesday under his House Bill (HB) 5559 in light of implementation of the K-to-12 program, which adds two more years to the four-year secondary education at present.

“The additional two years of learning inevitably carry with them additional cost to the parents, who under the Family Code of the Philippines, are bound to give support for their children, even beyond the age of majority,” Erice pointed out.

“It is only reasonable for these parents to be granted reprieve by way of adjusting the age requirements of dependents for individual taxpayers’ availment of additional exemptions,” he said.

Under Section 35.b of the National Internal Revenue Code, the availment of additional exemption for the taxpayer amounting to P25,000 for each dependent not exceeding four is limited to those who are chiefly dependent upon and living with the taxpayer, are unmarried, not gainfully employed and not more than 21 years of age.

With the K-to-12 law in place, according to Erice, individuals would only be able to finish college and be gainfully employed by the time they turn 23 years old.

“The additional exemption in the amount of P25,000 annually that would be saved by parents will be of great help to finance the education of and ensure a good future for their dependents,” he said.

HB 5559 is pending before the House Committee on Ways and Means headed by Marikina City (Metro Manila) Rep. Romero Quimbo, a partymate of Erice in the ruling Liberal Party.

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