By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
In a press statement distributed yesterday morning by Senator Juan Edgardo ‘Sonny’ Angara, he speculates the tax reform package, which passed the Senate Ways and Means Committee yesterday morning, will provide workers greater take-home pay.
“It’s like we have given 14th month pay to our people,” he claimed.
Under the proposal, those with an annual income of P150,000 or below are exempt from paying income tax. In addition, exemptions for 13th month pay, benefits, and dependents are also included.
According to the senator, the number of individuals exempt from taxes will increase from two million to six million.
In terms of those who are still required to pay taxes, he projects 99 percent will have a lower tax responsibility.
“We have been advocating for reforms to our income tax brackets and rates, for several years now, to put more money in people’s pockets,” Angara said.
The bill also revises the tax plan for the self-employed, which includes farmers, fisherfolk, sari-sari store owners, carinderia owners, market vendors, and tricycle drivers, wherein those reporting gross income of up to P100,000 are also exempt.
“By automatically exempting them from income tax, in effect, marginal income earners would finally be afforded equal protection and benefits that minimum wage earners have long been enjoying,” Angara said.
Meanwhile, the bill also raises the value-added tax threshold from P1.9 million to P3 million, which the senator said will stimulate growth, resulting in more domestic jobs./DGB, WDJ