Lawmakers agree not to tax low wage earners


THE Senate and the House of Representatives have agreed on several provisions of the proposed Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law, including the proposal to grant tax exemption to those who earn not more than P250,000 a year.

Sen. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, said contingents from the two chambers have started discussions to unify the proposed tax reform package and come up with a final version by December 5.

Angara said while there are a number of contentious provisions in the Train bill, lawmakers were able to agree on some important provisions that would benefit millions of taxpayers.

Among them are the grant of tax exemption to those whose annual income is P250,000 or below, the lowering of estate tax to six percent for properties worth P10 million and below, and value added tax exemption on lease not exceeding P15,000 and condominium dues.

Lawmakers also agreed to impose a 35 percent tax on those who earn P8 million or more annually.

“We agreed in the bicam to impose bigger taxes to the rich from 32 percent to 35 percent,” Angara said in a radio interview.

As for estate tax, the senator said they agreed to lower the rate from 20 percent to six percent of the value of property being transferred up to P10 million.

Angara explained the high estate tax has led families to delay settling the estate, resulting in huge penalties and surcharges.

Angara said a lot of contentious provisions are yet to be discussed, such as the proposed increase on the rate of tax exemption on the 13th month and other bonuses from P82,000 to P100,000; quarterly filing of VAT and percentage tax instead of monthly; and VAT exemption for houses outside Metro Manila amounting to P2 million.


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