THE House committee on youth and sports development has approved a bill seeking to give incentives to donors of athletes who have won medals in the Summer Olympic Games.
The committee, chaired by Abono party-list Rep. Conrado Estrella III, passed House Bill 4054 seeking to provide tax incentives to individuals and corporations which give donations, contributions and grants to Filipino athletes who have won in the Summer Olympic Games.
The bill was principally authored by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and co-authored by several other House leaders: deputy speaker and Batangas Rep. Raneo Abu, Zamboanga Rep. Celso Lobregat, PBA party-list Reps. Jericho Jonas Nograles and Mark Aeron Sambar.
Lobregat said through the tax breaks and incentives, the people would be encouraged to support the athletes’ endeavors as they try to bring more pride and honor to the nation.
Abu proposed to the body to allow the committee on ways and means, where the bill would be subsequently referred, to discuss the issue of tax incentives since the contentious issue in the proposal was on how much amount would be given as tax exemption.
It is only after 20 years that the Philippines is again an Olympic winner, Lobregat said.
Lobregat said: “Hidilyn Diaz, a 25-year-old lass from Zamboanga City won a silver medal in weightlifting in the Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Olympics and brought glory and honor to the country.
“Hidilyn’s victory and experience in her sport will be very valuable in developing and molding future Filipino Olympic medalists.”
She said the last Olympic medal for the Philippines before Diaz’s silver medal was won by Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco in the boxing division during the 1996 Atlanta games.
“Needless to say, Hidilyn Diaz and the other Filipino Olympic heroes like her deserve not only our praise but also our support,” said Lobregat, chairman of the Committee on Public Works and Highways.
The bill provides that any donation, contribution, gift and grant of real and personal property to any Filipino athlete who has won for the Philippines a bronze, silver, or gold medal in the Summer Olympic Games shall constitute an allowable deduction from the income of the donor for income tax purposes and shall be exempt from donor’s tax, in accordance with the provisions of the National Internal Revenue Code, as amended.
The value of each donor’s donations, contributions, gifts, or grants eligible for the tax exemption and deduction shall only be up to an amount not exceeding P1million for one taxable year.
The value of the donation in excess of P1 million shall be subject to donor’s tax and shall no longer be allowed as tax deduction.
The amount of any donation of property other than money shall be based on the acquisition cost of said property.
Donations, contributions, or gifts shall be allowable as deduction under the Act only if verified in accordance with existing rules and regulations of the Bureau of Internal Revenue for proving charitable donations, contributions, or gifts for purpose of tax deductions.
Any product or brand endorsement, personal services, or other consideration of any nature given in exchange for the purported donation shall automatically make such purported donation ineligible for the incentives under this Act.
Only donations, gifts, contributions, and grants made within one year from the date the Olympic medal was won shall be eligible for the tax incentives as provided under the bill.
Any award, incentive, or grant given by the government, its corporations, institutions and agencies to Olympic medalists for winning an Olympic medal shall be exempt from taxes.
The benefits of this Act shall be applicable to awards, incentives, gifts, donations, contributions and grants to an Olympics made prior to the enactment of this Act, provided that these are given within one year from the date the medal was won.
Prior to the approval of the bill, Rep. Abraham N. Tolentino (7th District, Cavite) was considering the idea of increasing the amount to more than P1 million.
“I’m thinking of increasing the amount because the Olympic year is every 4 years and after 4 years, the P1 million may be too small and after so many Olympic years, the value of P1 million may be small,” Tolentino said.
But Lobregat explained the P1 million will be per individual or per corporation.
“So if you have 10 corporations giving P1 million each, all those 10 corporations will be covered. It is not a maximum of P1 million. So if there are corporations that will give P500,000 or P200,000, any corporation or individual giving P1 million and below is covered. I think the amount is already sufficient,” he said.
Lanao del Norte Rep. Mohamad Khalid Dimaporo also favored a bigger amount of tax break to donors.
“I propose that we amend the bill to have a bracket system that in every 4 years, we increase the amount by P500,000 if that is the possible solution to the question,” said Dimaporo.
During a recent congressional hearing, resource persons from the BIR and the National Tax Research Center expressed their objection and reservation to the bill as it posed to minimize or lessen the collectible taxes that otherwise would go to the government and that the tax break might be abused.