Press Releases

“No backlog:” Salceda touts 2022 performance of the House tax committee; Tax panel chair optimistic for Ease of Paying Taxes Law, ‘permanent solution’ to exporter VAT issues by Q2 2023

December 19th, 2022

House Ways and Means Chair Joey Sarte Salceda (Albay, 2nd district) boosted the accomplishment report of the tax panel, one of the House’s most powerful committees, saying that it upheld its “no backlog policy” of hearing all bills automatically referred to it, and finishing President Marcos’s SONA priorities. 

Salceda also touted his committee’s performance of oversight functions, which resulted in the issuance of executive policies “more favorable to taxpayers and the economy at large.”

“First, our briefings on the CREATE Law’s implementation resulted in the issuance of the Strategic Investment Priorities Plan. Briefings on VAT zero-rating compelled the DOF first to suspend it, and then issue a partial compromise on the matter.”

“On smuggling of agricultural products, the DA and BOC issued their own policies tightening the noose on smugglers. We also held briefings on the treatment of online transactions with non-resident foreign corporations. That strengthened our view that we should have a digital services tax.”

“We also held a hearing on BIR’s verification of taxes on One-Time Transactions, also known as ONETT, on the sale/transfer of properties by the Megaworld Corporation. That led to the SOF suspending the practice of random audits.”

Salceda also touted the Committee’s early approval of priority tax measures of the executive, such as the Plastic Bags Tax Act, Package 4 of the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program, the Ease of Paying Taxes Act, and the Non-resident digital services providers VAT Act. 

Additionally, the committee approved 14 automatically referred bills during the first half of the year, and 269 bills in the second half. 

“Approving these automatic referrals quickly is also extremely important for the work of the whole House. If we don’t approve these bills in a timely fashion, the deliberations will grind to a halt, and we won’t be able to discuss them on the floor. So, our no-backlog policy when it comes to automatic referrals assures the House that bills will keep moving because the Ways and Means Committee hears them as soon as we receive them.”

Agenda for 2023

Salceda also said he is optimistic that his Senate counterparts will be able to approve the Ease of Paying Taxes Act into law by early 2023, while the Department of Finance will come up with a “permanent solution” to problems concerning imposition of VAT on indirect exporters around the same time.

“I am confident that these pending items will find favorable resolution by early 2023. The Senate is moving with EOPT without much controversy, so expect that to be law next year.”

Also pending with the Committee are the following bills:

1. House Bills No. 178, 1697, 3245, and 3789, on Amending Republic Act No. 10863, otherwise known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act; 

2. House Bills No. 373, 2014, 2246, and 3888, on the Philippine Mining Fiscal Regime;

3. House Bill No. 5532 on Excise Tax on Electronic Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Delivery Devices; and

4. House Resolution No. 490, on the Imposition of VAT on Importation and Local Purchases of Goods and Services by Registered Business Enterprises in Special Economic Zones.

Salceda also says that his committee will begin hearing proposals to increase taxes on alcoholic products, and “possibly a junk food tax” by 2023.

Salceda adds that next year, they will begin pushing the BIR more aggressively on codifying all tax regulations in one Omnibus Manual of Internal Revenue Regulations. Salceda also wants a similar effort in the Bureau of Customs.

“Fewer, more streamlined rules means easier tax compliance, reduced corruption, and stronger tax morale, which leads to more revenues,” Salceda said.

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