this news article is an election press release by the ahon pinoy
party-list group, but there could be a grain of truth in it.
forewarned is forearmed.
saturday, april 14, 2007
ofw tax breaks defended
the ahon pinoy party-list group on friday vehemently opposed plans by the bureau of internal revenue to remove the income tax privileges currently enjoyed by overseas filipino workers (ofws), the group's primary constituency.
dante francis ang ii, ahon pinoy's lead nominee, said that although revenue commissioner mario c. bunag had been quoted as saying there has been no "definite decision" on whether to push for the removal of ofws more income tax exemptions or not, "the plan itself sends chilling signals to the millions of our workers abroad."
ang said removing the ofws tax privileges is not the solution to the government's fiscal problems.
. . .
some 8 million filipinos are currently working abroad, remitting a record $12.76 billion back to the philippines in 2006. they remitted $10.69 billion in 2005.
although commissioner bunag said the contemplated levy would be meted only on professionals such as bank employees and doctors "who make so much money." ang said that those people the bir is targeting are already paying income taxes in the places where they are employed.
taxing ofws will require an amendment of the national internal revenue code of 1997, which provides that "an individual citizen of the philippines who is working and deriving income from abroad as an overseas contract worker is taxable only on income from sources within the philippines."
btw, professionals include nurses.
i don't agree with the "who make so much money
" part--straight conversion from gross income to philippine pesos might seem like a lot, but taxes take up a large part of us income, and the cost of living is much higher in the us.
i hope this plan does not push through, or ofws coming back to manila might be welcomed with...charges by the bir for tax evasion.
Apr 14, '07
It's counter-productive in my opinion. First and foremost is that these foreign-workers are already being taxed on the host country they are working in just like any citizens from that host country. Second, these foreign workers do not have to make remittances back to the Philippines but as w/ Filipino culture and we share this w/ the Mexicans we remit money to help relatives left behind and the annual remittances are keeping the Philippines afloat financially.
It is counter-productive in all accounts. I don't see any good coming of it. This will erase the current Govt's thrust on encouraging all remittances to go through legal channels (through Banks). Everything will be via unconventional ways again. They are already having trouble tracking remittances since majority still use unconventional ways to remit money as it is. What more if such law is passed. Back to stone-age.
Third, there maybe some limitations as far as nurses for the US is concern. If the nurse is working via green card (US immigrant) then why would the former country tax them ?? No sense at all. To be honest about it and to go further... why would the POEA (this is one vehicle where they will know who left the Philippines) have a say to deployment of nurses to USA if these nurses were filed for green cards (US immigrant). They are US immigrants already. If there are any trouble by Filipino nurses w/ their US employers, does POEA have the right to intervene? Legal, financial or any support at all? None, right? Perfect example would be what happens to the Nurses in the Sentosa Case. Any thing that happens in the US is solved in the US and by using the US legal system or immigration system, if needed. No outside force can intervene or intercede. This would also scare nurses that plans to keep their Filipino Citizenship through the relatively new Dual-Citizenship Law that the current Administration has passed as well. This will render that Law moot or useless as well. No one will apply for Dual-Citizenship (for those that previously relinquished it) and no one will keep their Filipino Citizenship for those on their way to being US Citizens. So, goodbye to that idea and the plans for the Philippines to be the retirement haven of successful foreign workers. There are retirement havens being put up in Asia like Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia and I won't be surprised if Vietnam and Cambodia joins in after a couple of years to welcome foreign retirees and expats. Those are nice countries to retire to.
I'm pretty sure that nurses in the US legally (US immigrants/green card holders) would not be part of this for the simple argument of being immigrants already. Hardest hit would be, in my opinion, are the those on just temporary working permits/visas, whether it be blue-collar jobs or a 'high-end' job. They are just temporarily in their host country as long as they keep their job so if any such thing will pass it would affect those temporary workers w/ just work permits or working visas and do not hold a green card (not US legal Permanent Residents).
Last edit by lawrence01 on Apr 14, '07