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Philippines 'No New Taxes' Policy Questioned

by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, Hong Kong

24 June 2011


A member of the Philippines House of Representatives has urged its Committee on Ways and Means to conduct an inquiry into the measures undertaken by the Department of Finance (DOF) and Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to implement the government’s ‘no new taxes’ policy.

President Benigno Aquino has, since he assumed office in June last year, remained adamant in his stated intention to reduce the country’s fiscal deficit by the improved collection of taxes, before there was to be any thought of increasing tax rates, or of any new taxes.

It appears that the ‘no new taxes’ policy will be maintained through 2012, but, if the government wishes to continue in reducing the fiscal deficit and provide additional funding for its social welfare and infrastructure development requirements, it will need to consider new or increased taxes by 2013.

However, Magtanggol Gunigundo, a member of the Philippines House of Representatives, but also a lawyer who used to work within the Office of the Commissioner of Customs, has asked that, in the spirit of transparency, the DOF and the BIR should be required to disclose the measures they have taken to implement the administration's policy.

"In the spirit of transparency,” he said, “it is imperative to make public the initiatives and actions taken by the BIR and the DOF to implement the said presidential directives, including but not limited to such measures as provided for by law, specifically those which the BIR Commissioner and the Secretary of Finance are mandated to exercise under the National Internal Revenue Code of 1977.”

TAGS: compliance | tax | economics | tax compliance | fiscal policy | law | Philippines

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