Sen. Juan ‘Sonny’ Angara denounced the move of the Bureau of Internal Revenue to tax health card benefits, calling it baseless.
According to Angara, he learned of BIR revenue memorandum circular (RMC) 50-2018, which clarified provisions of Republic Act 10963, also known as the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law, following complaints from companies
Based on RMC 50-2018, premiums on health cards paid by employers for their employees shall be treated as part of other benefits subject Php 90,000 tax-exempt threshold.
The senator mentioned that the circular contradicts a previous BIR ruling that benefits employers provide to their employees should be non-taxable.
Angara suspect that BIR has a new interpretation of the law. However, he insisted that there has been no legislative reforms that could justify imposing taxes on health card benefits.
The lawmaker also fears that taxing health card premiums might lead to employers withdrawing the said benefits.
“Mali ang direksyon. Kung gusto natin maging mas malusog ang ating kababayan, hindi dapat yung ganung klase na maliliit na benepisyo, na maari naman hindi gamitin, hindi dapat subject sa buwis iyon,” Angara said during an interview with Radyo Natin.
Angara added that he has already advised BIR and the Department of Finance to revise the circular since it has no basis. He also hopes that agencies will withdraw the said order within this week.