Marcos: Cooperatives should enjoy tax-free perks

Vice presidential candidate Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. has reiterated his vow to pursue automatic application of tax exempt privileges of legitimate cooperatives as well as further development of cooperative movement in the country.

In a meeting with members of Cardona (Rizal) Multi-Purpose Cooperatives, Marcos, vice-chairman of the Senate Committee on Cooperatives, noted that he has been working hard to promote the growth of the cooperative movement in the country and fighting against policies that run counter to their interests.

“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,” he said.

Under the Cooperative Act, 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”.

On the other hand, 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.

Marcos pointed out that under the current practice, before cooperatives can avail of the tax exemptions under the law, they must first be issued a Certificate of Tax Exemption (CTE) by the BIR.

Prior to this, he added, they must first secure a Certificate of Good Standing (CGS) from the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), for which they are required to provide certain documentary requirements.

Marcos said the practice not only defeats the beneficial purpose of the law but it 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.

To address the situation, Marcos has been spearheading efforts in the Senate to amend the charter of the Cooperative Development Authority, with a specific provision saying the CTE constitutes the sole legal basis for cooperatives to enjoy their tax privileges and other incentives.

Likewise, Marcos has opposed Senate Bill 2048 and House Bill 2765, which both sought to remove the tax exempt privileges of cooperatives.

“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.

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