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Second Philippine Tax Reform Bill Submitted to Parliament including Corporate Tax Changes

The Philippine Department of Finance (DOF) has announced that the second package of measures for the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program (CTRP) has been filed in the House of Representatives. While the first package, approved in December 2017 (previous coverage), was mainly focused on individual income tax reforms, the second package is focused on corporate tax and incentives reform. This includes:

  • A one-percentage point reduction in the current 30% corporate tax rate every year for domestic corporations, resident foreign corporations, and non-resident foreign corporations starting from 2019, provided that the cut will not reach lower than 20%;
  • The simplification and harmonization of incentives that will include the amendment and repeal of current incentive laws, including a “sunset” or a phase-out provision for incentives granted to registered enterprises over two to five years, depending on the length of time these businesses have already benefited from such incentives;
  • Provisions for the formulation of a three-year Strategic Investments Priority Plan (SIPP) to ensure that only industries that provide positive spillover to the economy, based on rigorous cost-benefit analysis, are given incentives, which will include up to three years of income tax holiday (ITH), a reduced CIT rate of 15% for up to 5 years inclusive of the ITH, a 50% tax allowance for qualified capital expenditures, as well as varied rates of tax deductions for research and development, training, labor expenses, infrastructure development, and reinvestment;
  • The expansion of the mandate of the Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB) beyond government-owned and -controlled corporations to include the approval of incentives to all registered enterprises as recommended by the various investment promotion agencies;
  • Improvements in the reporting and monitoring requirements under the Tax Incentives Management and Transparency Act to further promote accountability on the part of registered enterprises; and
  • Provisions to strengthen the enforcement powers of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), particularly with regard to the prosecution of tax cases.

In addition to the second package of CTRP, the DOF is planning to introduce this year the rest of the CTRP packages, which mainly cover property and capital income taxation.

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