LGUs raise issue on local business tax amnesty provision

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The House Committee on Ways and Means is closer to approving the substitute bill of Package 1B of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law, but will take a stop over due to issues on the Real Property and Local Business Tax Amnesty provisions.

Quirino Rep. Dakila Carlo E. Cua said on Tuesday, Aug. 14, the Ways and Means panel will need “at least one more hearing… to iron out the concerns of the Bureau of Customs (BoC) and local government.”

League of Provinces Director Angelica J. Sanchez raised before the panel that inclusion of the said provisions in the tax amnesty bill will go against the “constitutional provision of local autonomy.”

“I do not think that imposing a local tax amnesty would really answer… the problem of the local government units,” Ms. Sanchez said, noting that in particular she is concerned over the “proceeds.”

“We only have one basic local tax, that’s the real estate tax, and what we’re collecting is not really that large…but, if you grant the real estate tax this is not going to help the provinces,” she added.

Mr. Cua, for his part, said that the panel is seeking consultation with local officials, assuring also that the taxes collected from the local government will be for their benefit.

Kung ano man ang makokolekta sa amnesty regarding local taxes, sa local government pa rin mapupunta ‘yan (Whatever will be collected in the tax amnesty will still go to the local government),” Mr. Cua said. — Charmaine A. Tadalan