Be tax-compliant, BSKE bets told

Louise Maureen Simeon - The Philippine Star
Be tax-compliant, BSKE bets told
Candidates vying for positions in the upcoming barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) sign their pledge for a peaceful election in Lingayen, Pangasinan on September 20, 2023.
STAR / Cesar Ramirez

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has reminded candidates in the coming barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE) to comply with their tax obligations.

BIR Commissioner Romeo Lumagui earlier issued a memorandum circular outlining tax compliance reminders to all candidates and other participants in the BSKE, which will be conducted on Oct. 30.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said there are over 600,000 available positions in the BSKE and about two million candidates competing to fill these vacancies.

Based on the reminders, candidates who later engaged in business, have purchased goods and services for the campaign and election activities, have received donations and campaign contributions or have income payments subject to withholding tax, must register or update their registration details with the BIR.

The updates must be done in revenue district offices where the candidates are registered, and they should pay the corresponding registration fee, the memorandum said.

Income payments made by political parties and candidates in all their purchases of goods and services related to campaign expenditures are subject to five percent creditable withholding tax.

Also subjected to the five percent tax are income payments made by individuals or juridical persons for the purchase of goods and services intended to be given as campaign contributions to political parties and candidates.

The BIR said all candidates must maintain a record of contributions, donations and expenditures, which will be submitted to the Comelec.

It said all candidates receiving donations and campaign contributions should purchase the non-value added tax BIR-printed receipts, which will be issued for every contribution made, either in cash or in kind.

For contributions in kind, these should be valued based on fair market value, the BIR said.

Candidates who fail to register and comply with the requirements of the BIR will face penalties under existing laws and memorandum issuances.

The Comelec said it is expecting a “heated election” due to several delays in the conduct of the BSKE, which was originally scheduled in May 2020 but was postponed twice, to December 2022 and then to October this year.

The campaign period will run from Oct. 19 to 28.

Early voting

Meanwhile, the Comelec is allowing not only persons with disabilities (PWDs) and other vulnerable sectors to vote early, but their companions as well.

“The early voting hours will be from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. on election day. It will be exclusive only for PWDs, senior citizens and pregnant voters,” the poll body said in a resolution.

It said that PWDs, senior citizens and pregnant voters – who, by themselves, could not accomplish the ballots – may be assisted by their companions.

The companions of these voters will be allowed to vote early, provided they belong to the same precincts of the voters they are assisting.

If a companion does not belong to the clustered precinct of the PWD, senior citizen or pregnant voter he is assisting, the head of the electoral board, through a note, will inform the EB of the precinct where the companion voter belongs, that he will cast his ballot in another precinct.

The EB of the clustered precinct will accommodate the companion voter and document the process. — Mayen Jaymalin

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