Displaying items by tag: tax

Fuel excise tax: inflation impact higher than DOF’s projection – experts

By 

Beverly Natividad, Bloomberg TV Philippines | InterAksyon

 

MANILA – The House of Representatives has approved tax reforms the government claims are critical for its infrastructure effort, but some critics are looking to the Senate to reject planned tax hikes or at least tweak provisions to limit the impact on the public.

One example of a measure in the reform package that some experts say the government had underestimated the impact of: the higher excise taxes on fuel.

Economists from the University of Asia and the Pacific said that while they weren’t against the tax reform bill, the likely impact on inflation could be higher than that forecast by the government. They aired their views at a Senate ways and means committee hearing on higher excise taxes on fuel.

UA&P economist Ronilo Balbieran, said that “contrary to the results of the DOF [that it’s] within inflation target, we fear that it is being too close to the inflation ceiling of the 4% target inflation for 2018.”

He thinks the inflation target “will be breached if we’re going to push for the 3-2-1,” referring to the House-approved imposition of higher excise taxes on fuel that will be spread out over three years, supposedly to blunt the impact.

Balbieran thinks the inflation target will be breached “mainly because [there will be an] inflation expectation [when you shock the public in the] first year of implementation.”

Among others, the bill calls for a 6-peso fuel excise tax that will split into a 3-peso adjustment for the first year, P2 on the second and 1 peso on the third, from 2017 to 2019. 

The UA&P economists recommended that this be changed to P1.75 on the first year and P2 each for the next two years.

Transport groups also appealed to the senators for an exemption, claiming that privately owned cars far outnumber public utility vehicles.

Zenaida Maranan told senators their sector should be exempted from the higher excise taxes “because there are only 470,000 PUVs – the trucks, AUVs, taxis and jeepneys – as against 10 million private cars.”

If exemptions can’t be accommodated, transport groups asked the Finance department for help in modernizing their fleets.

Efren de Luna of ACTO proposed the conversion of a portion of the excise tax, say 50 centavos a liter, into a loan that they can use to modernize.

Department of Social Welfare and Development officials also spoke up against the bill, breaking with other government agencies that have expressed support for tax hikes.

Undersecretary Emmanuel Leyco said the poor would be particularly affected and planned subsidies to mitigate the impact would cost the government.

“We think that we can go and make corruption as an equally important goal of this government. With our experience, the Napoles scam alone is estimated to cost us more than P10 billion and tax evasion, tax leakages cost us billions,” said Leyco.

President Rodrigo Duterte certified the tax reform bill as urgent and the House of Representatives complied by approving the measure just before Congress adjourned this week.

Senators on Wednesday indicated that the government should expect major revisions in the House-approved package when their chamber finalizes their version.

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Industry groups says sugar tax will hurt business, farmers; asks Congress to reconsider

By Shyla Francisco, News5

A sugar farmer is seen in file photo from Phil. Star.
MANILA – The Federation of Philippine Industries (FPI) is opposing the imposition of a P10 per liter excise tax on sugar-sweetened drinks, saying this will hurt the industry.

The proposed excise tax is part of the reform package now undergoing plenary deliberations in the House of Representatives.

According to FPI chairman Jesus Aranza, the excise tax will not only dent the sales of beverage companies; it will also cut into the incomes of farmers.

He explained: consumers turned off by the more expensive sugar sweetened drinks could reduce consumption, forcing beverage companies to reduce the volume of sugar they buy from farmers.

As things stand, the industry hopes that if the excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages won’t be scuttled altogether, the rate imposed would at least be reasonable.

The farmers may not feel the impact at once, but once the beverage companies scale down their production, farmers will start to suffer, said Aranza.

“Ang gusto ko, wala dapat na tax. If I start bargaining now, parang inaamin ko na. My negotiating stand is huwag [My stand is, there should be no tax. If I start bargaining now, it’s like conceding…My negotiating stand is don’t impose it],” said Aranza.

“If you really want to impose tax, it should be minimal—not at a level that will kill us,” he added, speaking partly in Filipino.

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BIR urges taxpayers to file ITR today or pay penalties

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) on Monday urged the public anew to file income tax returns and pay taxes, or pay the consequence of being late.

"Paalala lang sa lahat ng ating tagapakinig, last day of filing po ngayon. Hindi na kami mag-e-extend. Please, mag-file na po kayo at magbayad, kasi tomorrow po, kapag bukas po kayo mag-file ay may penalty na tayo for late filing and late payment," Marissa Cabreros, BIR Assistant Commissioner, said in an interview on GMA News' "Balitanghali."

The deadline for filing an ITR is actually on April 15, but the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) moved the date this year as it falls on Black Saturday, a special non-working holiday.

The BIR last week said it will not extend the deadline, and tax returns filed late will be slapped with corresponding penalties.

The penalties may either be a 25-percent surcharge, a 20-percent interest per year or a compromise penalty.

Cabreros noted the BIR can accommodate last-minute taxpayers until 5:00 p.m.

"Ang BIR office po is bukas hanggang alas-singko ng hapon, so 8:00 to 5:00 po kaming bukas. Ang mga bangko po, nakiusap po kami na mag-extend sila ng banking hours. 'Yung iba ho kasi hanggang alas-tres, pero nakiusap kaming mag-extend ng 3:00 to 5:00 para i-accommodate po ang mga taxpaters na may pahabol po na babayaran ngayong araw na ito," she said. — Jon Viktor Cabuenas/VDS, GMA News

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