Pertinent Articles on RA 9504

There are pertinent articles regarding RA 9504 over at Punongbayan & Araullo’s Press Room. They describe the issues surrounding the law.

You can read the articles here, here, and here.

Many concerns have been raised, and my favorite:

Is this really what RA 9504 intended — to create and encourage absurd situations? Can’t the BIR, at least, read the real intent of RA 9504 and help promote social justice by saying that any income received by a worker over and above the minimum wage, to the extent that the tax distortion is eliminated and the take home pay is equalized, be still exempt from taxes as a MWE?

It may be difficult to justify such move, considering that the flaw is in the law itself. But the BIR was able to do it in certain instances in the past.

With these good, pertinent, and timely articles from an accounting firm website, P&A would have better hosted a discussion by offering comments or provided a forum. It would have been a good discussion, instead of just a lone standing article.

Republic Act 9504

An Act Amending Sections 22, 24, 34,35, 51 and 79 of Republic Act no. 8424, as amended, otherwise known as The National Internal Revenue Code of 1997

Looking at the stats of this site, I’m sure many are already looking for a copy of the law. I have good and bad news: the good news–I have a copy of the law; the bad–I have a bad copy.

Download: RA-9504 pdf (440kb)
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As expected, there were no changes in the progressive tax table. Our lawmakers and our President sure have gained credits for themselves for passing the bill into law. But it only did affect the personal exemptions allowed for most of us taxpayers. Only a part of the taxable income was adjusted, not the whole.

Come to think of it, rice in 1997 was (at the maximum, maybe) P20 per kilo. Now, how much is it? You can answer that question. That’s basically how inflation has gone up since 1997, when the original law (RA 8424) was enacted.

The Tax Exemption Bill

According to this news, the approval of the tax exemption bill that’s been pending in the Senate was rushed. I say this has long been overdue.

MANILA, Philippines — With three weeks left before Congress goes into recess, the Senate is rushing the approval of a long-awaited measure that seeks to exempt minimum wage earners from paying the income tax.

But with the inflation since 1997, the brackets in the progressive tax table definitely needs as much adjustment as the personal exemption. Otherwise, it would just be like saving the lowly taxpayers a meal a day when they eat three times a day.

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