Why it matters

ROSES AND THORNS - Pia Roces Morato - The Philippine Star

An incentive is a benefit that is given to someone in order for him or her to do be encouraged to do or abide by something specific. In the case of business, a tax relief is a way to reduce taxes in exchange for specific actions or investments on their part.

In Quezon City for example, city ordinances have been passed to waive penalties for unpaid business taxes for 2021 and prior years, extend the deadline for business tax payments from January 2022 (first quarter) and April 2022 (second quarter) to July 2022, and July 2022 (third quarter) to October 2022 and issued a staggered settlement of outstanding business taxes for up to 12 months.

More often than not on my show, Mon Abrea (certified tax whiz) and I have for many years covered tax education simply because we felt (and still feel) that it is absolutely necessary for tax payers to understand the certainty of taxes apart from the notion of death that is constant in an ever changing world.

Obvious enough for all, COVID-19 has definitely changed us all however, and as the tax whiz and I have come to the conclusion of, when it comes to our understanding of taxes, it is also necessary that we apply proper behavior (not to mention interest). Behavior in reference to taxes and, in this case, tax relief, matters for the simple reason that it teaches us to be socially responsible as in turn, by doing so, our communities benefit.

As we close the year, we have learned more about development and community health and how both are intertwined for progress. Finding the balance between ensuring the health of communities as well as their livelihood has posed as a challenge for everyone yet – and because we have said that this world is ever changing – solutions matched with best practices have also been placed at the forefront of recovery, which I would much rather look at as a new beginning moving forward and based on good governance.

There is so much to cover on taxes and what we ought to learn but by far, and in this present day, tax reliefs have given me much comfort knowing that good leaders have, on the top of their minds, the impact of this pandemic on business owners, especially the smaller and medium ones that struggle the most.

COVID-19 has pushed leaders to wield much needed incentives in support of inclusive growth and as a constituent of Quezon City, I am proud to see my local government at work, as the culture from the top has always been about good governance. One can’t just talk about good governance without seeing or feeling the fruits of it. While we are always looking for it, we must understand the components that complete it – in other words, good governance must be measured and a tax relief is one way to measure if your government is working for you since we are talking about public affairs and public resources that uphold your human right.

It is therefore in this regard, and as we close another year and another chapter in our COVID-19 experience, that I thank our local government under the leadership of Mayor Joy Belmonte, our Vice Mayor Gian Sotto and the rest of our city council, for approving three ordinances providing tax relief to business owners affected by the pandemic and it matters most, not only because I too happen to be one of the affected, because there are so many of us in this city that look forward to coming into the new year building back better.


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