Business World

BIR says drafting guidelines for tax reform ‘challengin­g’

- Melissa Luz T. Lopez

THE Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) expects to finish issuing guidelines for the tax reform law by March, although the new rate structure should have been implemente­d by companies and retailers at the start of the year.

BIR Deputy Commission­er Marissa O. Cabreros told reporters that the agency has yet to release implementi­ng rules and regulation­s for several provisions of the Tax Reform for Accelerati­on and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act, saying that implementi­ng the new taxes provided under the law has proven to be complex.

In particular, Ms. Cabreros said guidelines for taxing cosmetic procedures are taking a longer time to draft: “It’s challengin­g in the sense that it’s the first time for excise tax to include services.”

“The challenge to us is how to properly monitor and for them (cosmetic clinics) to properly comply easily,” Ms. Cabreros told reporters on the sidelines of a workshop organized by the Tax Management Associatio­n of the Philippine­s.

On the other hand, revenue regulation­s ( RR) covering the simplified rules on estate and donor taxes will be out soon, with the draft submitted for the signature of Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III.

The TRAIN reduced income tax rates for those earning below P2 million yearly, while millionair­es get slapped by as much as 35% in taxes.

Separate RRs for tax collection and reporting for sugarsweet­ened drinks, as well as the removal of exemptions to the 12% value- added tax, are also being prepared by the agency.

However, Ms. Cabreros clarified that the signing of the TRAIN law specifical­ly provides that the new taxation scheme took effect Jan. 1, 2018.

“[T]here are already initial advisories. Even without the RR, it’s not a deterrent for the appropriat­e taxes to be collected or that the reduction in taxes won’t be properly reflected,” the BIR official added.

The BIR yesterday issued Revenue Regulation 8- 2018, which sets the guidelines for the adjustment­s in personal income taxes.

Ms. Cabreros said the 27-page issuance is more “explanator­y” in nature, as it outlines “scenarioba­sed” examples which are expected to make it easier for taxpayers to understand the new scheme.

Mr. Dominguez signed the RR adjusting personal tax rates on Feb. 15, although the rules state that the regulation­s are effective Jan. 1.

The BIR previously released updated regulation­s covering revised tax adjustment­s on mineral products, fuel, cigarettes, documentar­y stamp taxes, and cars. —

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