By Elizabeth Marcelo | GMA News Online
Vice presidential candidate Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. hit the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) for its supposed overly stringent process in exempting cooperatives from taxes.
“Lagi kaming nag-aaway ni (Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner) Kim Henares dahil bakit kayo kinukuhanan ng buwis, tax-exempt naman kayo? Naghihigpit ang koleksyon nila,” Marcos said during his recent meeting with members of the Cardona, Rizal Multi-Purpose Cooperatives.
Marcos, chairman of the Senate committee on cooperatives, pointed out that under Republic Act 9520 or the Philippine Cooperative Code of 2008, registered cooperatives that transact and deal exclusively with their own members are not “subject to any taxes and fees imposed under the internal revenue laws and other tax laws”.
Marcos said that under the same law, registered cooperatives that transact or deal with non-members or to the general public are also tax exempt if their “accumulated reserves and undivided net savings” does not exceed P10 million.
“Di bale, pagka nagbago na ang administrasyon, maibabalik natin sa tamang pagtatakbo ng ating BIR, lalong-lalo na sa mga kooperatiba. Patitibayin din po natin ang cooperative movement,” Marcos said.
Marcos lamented that under the current practice, before cooperatives can avail of the tax exemptions mandated under the law, they must first be issued a Certificate of Tax Exemption (CTE) by the BIR.
Marcos said that prior to this, the cooperatives must also secure a Certificate of Good Standing (CGS) from the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), for which they are required to provide several documentary requirements.
Marcos said the practice not only defeats the beneficial purpose of the law but also serves to cause the “regression of cooperative development efforts”.
“Because of this practice many cooperatives were forced to pay their taxes under protest,” Marcos said.
Marcos said that to address such tedious application process for tax exemption, he is pushing in the Senate for the amendment of the CDA charter to remove the specific provision identifying the CTE as the sole legal basis for cooperatives to enjoy their tax privileges and other incentives.
Marcos had earlier expressed opposition to Senate Bill 2048 and House Bill 2765, which both sought to remove the tax exemption privileges of cooperatives.
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