Getting on board the Train
ROSES AND THORNS - Pia Roces Morato (The Philippine Star) - July 20, 2018 - 12:00am

Frankly, I never thought I could understand the “ins and outs” of taxes until I met my friend Mon Abrea, commonly known as the “Tax Whiz.”

It has been almost four years since Mon and I started to discuss taxes on Education Radio, and when President Duterte finally made this a priority, we felt, once and for all, that a good tax system would send the country into progress.

For more than two decades, the Philippines has not revised its income tax table, making an inefficient, unjust and outdated tax system burden the ordinary Filipino, particularly the hardworking employees who contribute 82 percent of our income tax collections from individuals.

In addition, the system is inefficient also because of a very narrow taxpayer base with 17 million registered individual taxpayers versus a population of 104 million.

This shows the people’s very low compliance in paying the right taxes.

With this said, we need tax reforms to lower income tax rates, improve tax administration and collect more from consumption taxes ( such as VAT and excise) and declare amnesty so that everyone can start fresh and become more compliant and honest in order to help our government collect the right taxes.

While an outdated tax system burdens the middle class, lower income tax with higher take home pay will strengthen this through proper tax reform. To date, the BIR has exceeded targets and made more collections thanks to a hardworking Commissioner who is serious in his fight against corruption.

While questions on the TRAIN continue to arise, more discussions are being undertaken to help educate the people and likewise participate. After all and in the end, the question we also need to ask ourselves is, “Are we willing to do our part?”

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