Beginning this year, pursuant to Republic Act 10963 or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law, the 13th month pay and other benefits, including productivity incentives and Christmas bonuses, are exempted from tax if they do not exceed P90,000.
Edd Gumban
Workers to get bigger 13th month, Christmas bonus
Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) - November 15, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Workers from both public and private sectors will be getting bigger 13th month pay and Christmas bonuses under the law that raised the tax exemption cap of bonuses and other benefits. 

Beginning this year, pursuant to Republic Act 10963 or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law, the 13th month pay and other benefits, including productivity incentives and Christmas bonuses, are exempted from tax if they do not exceed P90,000.

“Employees can bring home in full their bonuses to their families. These can help in their expenses in celebrating Christmas and New Year,” Angara said.

The senator was also responsible for the law that raised the tax exemption of 13th month pay and other benefits to P82,000 in 2015.

Before the TRAIN was signed into law three years ago, only bonuses not exceeding P30,000 were tax-exempt.

Aside from their 13th month pay, the Department of Budget and Management said government workers will receive their 14th month pay (or Christmas bonus equivalent to a full month salary) starting today along with cash gift of P5,000.

Meanwhile, for private sector employees, the 13th month pay should be given not later than Dec. 24.

The 13th month pay must be equivalent to one-twelfth of the basic salary of an employee within a calendar year.

The senator reminded employers they must pay their rank-and-file employees a 13th month pay regardless of the nature of their employment and whatever the method their wages are paid, provided they worked for at least one month during a calendar year.

He said not only regular employees should receive 13th  month pay but also contractual, casual, fixed term, probationary, seasonal employees must also receive the same under the Labor Code. 

Billions allocated

Government workers, including civilian and uniformed personnel, will all receive their year-end bonuses and cash gifts starting today.

Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said for 2018, the DBM allocated P29.7 billion for the year-end bonus of civilian personnel and another P6.5 billion for military and uniformed personnel.

About P5.6 billion and P1.7 billion have also been earmarked for the cash gift of civilian personnel and military and uniformed personnel, respectively.

Diokno said the release of the year-end bonus and cash gift is subject to Budget Circular No. 2016-4, which mandates that the incentives should be given not earlier than Nov. 15 of the current year.

Qualified for the bonus are personnel still in government service as of Oct. 31, with at least four months of service starting Jan. 1.

Those who have retired or separated from government service before Oct. 31 and have rendered at least four months of service from Jan. 1 will be granted pro-rated year-end bonus and cash gifts.

“On top of these bonuses, government employees can also look forward to receiving their Productivity Enhancement Incentive, which will be released starting Dec. 15,” Diokno said. – With Mary Grace Padin

13TH MONTH PAY AND CHRISTMAS BONUSES TRAIN LAW
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