Lawmaker proposes teaching tax education

Sheila Crisostomo - The Philippine Star
Lawmaker proposes teaching tax education
Grade 1 student of St Mary Elementary school in Marikina City during face to face class (June 20, 2022).
Walter Bollozos

MANILA, Philippines — Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman has filed a bill that seeks to mandate tax education in schools as a way of boosting government efforts to improve tax collection efficiency in the country.

According to Lagman, House Bill 76 seeks to teach “tax literacy, consciousness and responsibility in intermediate, secondary, technical-vocational and tertiary education” in both public and private schools.

He said the “Tax Consciousness and Responsibility Act” would complement efforts to accelerate economic recovery through tax collection.

In the explanatory note to the bill, Lagman invoked the truism that “nothing in this world is certain except for death and taxes.”

He said he wanted this corrected so that taxes should be placed before death “because having to pay one’s taxes usually comes before death and there is more open defiance in paying taxes compared to accepting the eventuality of death.”

“Inculcating tax consciousness and voluntary tax compliance in young people will help create a future generation of citizens who will not only pay their taxes more willingly (but) on time,” he added.

Lagman noted that the public will “likely demand accountability and improved and more accessible social services from the government because they know that they have done their part and have contributed their share to ensure a more responsive, more responsible and more people-centered governance for all.”

The bill mandates the inclusion of tax education covering tax literacy, tax consciousness, compliance and responsibility as a “civic and patriotic duty.”

Under the measure, the Department of Education is mandated “to prepare age-appropriate tax education curriculum and modules in coordination with the Commission on Higher Education and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and in consultation with the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Bureau of Customs.”

This is aside from consulting recognized tax experts, lawyers and academicians as well as local and national youth organizations.

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