DOF open to retaining VAT exemption for seniors, PWDs

MANILA -- Sen. Juan Edgardo "Sonny" Angara on Tuesday welcomed the decision of the Department of Finance (DOF) to come up with a revised tax reform proposal which keeps the value added tax (VAT) exemption benefits of senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs).

This comes after DOF representatives met with senators, led by Angara, chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, in a public hearing on such proposal.

The DOF has recently presented the latest draft of the revised version of the first of six packages of the Duterte administration's comprehensive tax reform program.

Package 1 seeks to lower personal income tax rates, broaden the VAT base, and adjust excise taxes of petroleum products and automobiles.

To recall, DOF's initial proposal seeks to expand the VAT base by limiting exemptions to raw food, education and health thus repealing laws exempting senior citizens and PWDs from VAT.

Senior citizens and PWD groups have openly expressed their disapproval on such move.

"The DOF is open to retaining the VAT exemption of senior citizens and PWDs. This means that the administration listens to the demands and grievances of our citizens," Angara said.

"We will continue to coordinate with out economic managers to come up with a comprehensive tax reform program that is fair, progressive and will not be a burden to ordinary Filipinos," he added.

Angara, meanwhile, said that he would continue to conduct more public hearings on the comprehensive tax reform program while the DOF is finalizing its proposal.

The next Senate ways and means committee hearing on the comprehensive tax reform is tentatively set on January 25. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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