In line with his stand on the CITIRA bill, the Founding Chairman Mon Abrea participated in a roundtable discussion at the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) Board Room on Monday, October 7. The topic up for discussion is the second package of tax reform – the CITIRA (formerly, TRABAHO) bill.
Recently, the tax expert had expressed his thoughts on the topic with ANC Early Edition’s Michelle Ong.
The Philippine Tax Whiz Mon Abrea, while being an active supporter of the tax reform, raised his concerns. According to the tax expert, he noted the government’s tendency to lower tax rates only if they can raise other tax rates as well.
The tax reform advocate explained that addressing tax leakages such as tax evasion, corruption, and smuggling can be a potential source of revenue for the government.
He also proposed creating a risk-based audit system by reinstituting the No Audit Program. Previously enacted under the Arroyo Administration, the No Audit Program allows compliant taxpayers to being exempted from being audited by the BIR.
“The tax reform is not about collecting more taxes from the same taxpayers,” reminded Abrea. “It’s about making the tax system more efficient to collect just and fair taxes from more taxpayers, even at a lower rate to encourage voluntary compliance.”
Dr. Bernardo Villegas, Research Director of the Center for Research and Development, Dr. Ronald Mendoza, Dean of the Ateneo Graduate School of Business, Dr. Enrico Basilio, Faculty at the University of the Philippines – National College of Public Administration and Governance, and Atty. Hernan Nicdao, Assistant General Secretary of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines also attended the event as presenters.
After the presenters, other participants joined in on the discussion, such as Mr. John Forbes, the head of the Joint Foreign Chambers, Dr. Dan Lachica, President of Semiconductor and Electronics Industry in the Philippines, Inc. (SEIPI), Mr. Francisco Zaldarriaga, Philippine Ecozones Association (PHILEA), Mr. Rey Untal, President of IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), Ms. Maritess Jocson-Agoncillo, Executive Director of the Confederation of Wearable Exporters of the Philippines (CONWEP), and Atty. Alex Cabrera, Chairman of Pricewaterhouse-Coopers.
The Corporate Income Tax and Incentives Rationalization Act (CITIRA) bill contains two major components: the lowering of the corporate income tax and the rationalization of incentives. Of the two features, the rationalization of incentives presents a more heated issue.
Developments to the corporate taxation in the Philippines could spell either trouble or opportunities for businesses. The Asian Consulting Group offers consultations, seminars, and tax briefings to help businesses take advantage of the tax system.
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