Be lenient with delayed tax filings, Salceda asks

THE Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means on Sunday asked tax agencies not to impose penalties and surcharges for delayed tax filing due to changes prompted by the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act.

Albay Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda said the first test of Create will be the upcoming filing deadline.

“We have to make it [Create law] work. Tax returns are due April 15. We need the cash for SAP [social amelioration program] 3; so I don’t think we can defer the deadline. But we will explore other relief measures. Offhand, we can have an extension in consequence by deferring the surcharges to a later date,” Salceda said.

The lawmaker said he has asked Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III about an extension.

“I requested it since January. However, given the need for SAP 3, I think it’s wiser to just modify the consequences but not the deadline,” Salceda said. He added he also asked the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to make sure there are no problems with the e-filing system.


MEANWHILE, Salceda said he is in talks with the implementing agencies of the Create Act to expedite the issuance of the law’s implementing rules and regulations and to prepare agencies for their roles in carrying out the new incentive regime.

He added he will be meeting with the BIR, the Bureau of Customs, the Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs), the Department of Trade and Industry, the Department of Finance and the expanded Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB) “to prepare them for their new roles.”

“These meetings will also be crucial as we try to craft implementing rules and regulations,” Salceda added. “I am the principal author and sponsor, so I am a resource for determining legislative intent.”

The solon said the meetings will revolve around three main areas: implementing the tax provisions; preparing the FIRB for its expanded role; and, ensuring that IPAs are equipped to be more aggressive in promoting the Philippines as an investment destination.

“[The] Create [law] radically altered our incentive regime: it’s now codified and made national in scope. You can avail of incentives wherever you are in the country,” Salceda said. “So, we want IPAs to take advantage of this and get them the resources and the powers they need to really promote the country. I am the budget sponsor of many of them so I will be willing to endorse requests for expanded investment missions and promotional activities.”

The lawmaker said the approach the agencies took during discussions on the Create law “was something I want changed.”

“They took the position of existing locators without really being open to the kind of new industries [the] Create [law] will promote,” Salceda said. “I think I have to make it clear that competitiveness means being ahead of new industries, and not propping old ones.”

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