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Sunday, April 21, 2024

Committee OKs bill to exempt OFWs from income tax filing

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The legislative bicameral conference committee has approved the bill exempting overseas workers from filing their income tax returns.

This as KABAYAN Rep. Ron Salo, principal author of the measure at the House of Representatives, welcomed the bicam approval of the bill.

The measure proposes to amends the National Internal Revenue Code to exempt Filipino migrant workers who derive their income solely from employment abroad from filing income tax returns.

“This will bring significant relief to our migrant workers. This bill, once enacted into law, will exempt Filipino migrant workers from the obligation of filing income tax returns, marking a significant step towards easing their financial and emotional burdens,” Salo said in a statement.

The amendment is part of the “Ease of Paying Taxes bill,” which was previously approved by the House of Representatives and the Senate.

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Salo, chairman of the House committee on overseas workers affairs, noted that Filipino migrant workers are already exempt from paying income taxes but are not exempt from filing their income tax returns.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) earlier issued regulations exempting  Filipino migrant workers from filing income tax returns.

“This exemption is already in the issuances of the BIR. Thus, it is necessary to institutionalize the exemption through this legislative measure,” Salo said.

“The approval of this provision in this legislative measure sends a clear message: we recognize the sacrifices our Filipino migrant workers make, and we want to unburden them from unnecessary bureaucratic procedures,” Salo stated.

Salo, however, reminded  this exemption only applies to Filipino migrant workers whose income is solely derived from employment abroad.

The bill was ratified by both Houses last Sept. 27 and will be submitted to the President for his signature.

“I thank the co-chairs of the bicameral conference committee, Sen. Win Gatchalian and Rep. Joey Salceda, for recognizing the wisdom in my proposal. This speaks volumes of their genuine care and concern for our Filipino migrant workers,” Salo added.

“Our Filipino migrant workers should not have to grapple with tax paperwork while working hard to support their families and contribute to our country’s economic stability. This exemption will free their minds from unnecessary stress and allow them to concentrate on their jobs and personal lives,” Salo stressed.

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