Angara livid over obstinate BIR

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Sen. Sonny Angara

Sen. Sonny Angara on Thursday warned the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) that the Senate will summon revenue officials and come down hard on they should the agency renege on its promise to recall the tax imposed on health card premium.

Angara, chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, reiterated the tax does not form part of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion or TRAIN Act and should not be imposed on the health card of hapless employees.

“They said they will delete that portion,” Angara said by way of reminding revenue officials they committed to its reversal.

To recall, Angara was the first to ask the BIR to withdraw Revenue Memorandum Circular 50-2018 (A7), which provides that health card premium paid by employers for their employees are included in the computation of the P90,000 tax-free-threshold benefits and bonuses of workers.

The senator, in a broadcast interview on Thursday, insisted the circular has no basis as there is nothing in Republic Act 10963 or the TRAIN Act that provided for it.

He said the senators had been told the basis of the circular was the Train law.

“But nothing there pertains or allows them to do that. They just reversed an old 1993 BIR-DoF (Department of Finance) ruling that these are not taxable. We maintain they are still not taxable,” he pointed out in a text message.

Angara, as did Sen. Francis Escudero in an earlier statement, reiterated that only Congress, and not the BIR, has the power to impose taxes.

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