Shift in taxation under study

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    The Department of Finance (DOF) has proposed to the Office of the President the creation of a tax force to look into President Duterte’s recommendation to adopt a gross-based taxation system.

    However, the DOF said the study on the proposed shift in taxation has a long way to go.

    In a recent press briefing at the DOF office in Manila, finance officials said the study on the gross taxation is a priority since the President mentioned it in his previous speech.

    Last month, Duterte said the Bureau of Internal Revenue should use gross taxation to eliminate corruption.

    “Of course (it is a priority) if the President mentioned it. But we will ask him to form a task force, like under ES (executive secretary). It has to be with the justice department, the DBCC (Development Budget Coordination Committee),” Carlos Dominguez, DOF secretary, said.

    The finance chief made it clear that the President’s proposal is not part of the comprehensive tax reform program.

    “(The government will study it because) we just have to hear why we will, or we will not, do it,” Antonette Tionko, DOF undersecretary, said for her part.

    Tionko said the DOF has written a letter addressed to the Office of the President to formally form the task force.

    “We recommended already who are going to be members of the tax force,” Tionko said.

    “Shifting to gross (taxation) is just a study, it’s still a long way to go. First of all, we have to study many things. Is it in accordance with our constitution? Is it fair? Is it favorable to small businesses or you know, stuff like that,” she added.

    Dominguez said he is not aware as to who suggested the idea to the President.

    “If you are really sincere and you are on my side to stop corruption, if media would really help government and the Filipino people, all you have to do – all of us, we agitate Congress, we shift to gross,” Duterte had said in a mix of English and Filipino.