Monday, August 8, 2016

GMA seeks additional personal exemption for taxpayers taking care of elderly parents

Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (2nd District, Pampanga) is seeking additional personal exemption for individual taxpayers who take care of their elderly parents to relieve them of tax burden and allow them to save money for the nutrition, education, medicines and other basic needs of other dependents.

The country’s former chief executive said many family members today face economic difficulties due to high cost of living. In some instances, she said it is common to find households where both spouses work to support their children and provide care for their aging parents.

Arroyo, however, said despite entailing additional expenses in looking after their elderly parents, it does not seem to matter for the ordinary Filipino family who would rather personally take care of their elderly parents rather than entrusting them to other people.

“One praiseworthy Filipino value is devotion to family ties. Married children take care of their parents by supporting them during the twilight years as an act of gratitude for all their pains and sacrifices. Thus, it is not surprising to see family members who provide their aging parents a wide array of assistance from medications, adult healthcare and in some cases, medical procedures. And since family is the backbone of the long-term health care system in the country, we always make sure that care for older persons is left in the hands of family members” said Arroyo.

In line with this, Arroyo said Republic Act 7432 which is “An Act to Maximize the Contribution of Senior Citizens to Nation-Building, Grant Benefits and Special Privileges and for Other Purposes” was enacted to give assistance to individuals who take care of their elderly parents.

“It allows a taxpayer, who is head of the family to include a senior citizen as a dependent under the National Internal Revenue Code or the NIRC of 1997 and in any of its implementing rules and regulations. Hence, there is a need to legislate anew this matter by incorporating it in RA 8424, or the NIRC as amended, in order for individual taxpayers to full avail of this additional tax exemption,” said Arroyo.

By including parents who are senior citizens as dependents, Arroyo said the State relieves taxpayers from tax burden and allows them to save money which can be used to meet the nutrition, education, medicines and other basic needs of other dependents, according to Arroyo.

In House Bill 1522, which is now pending at the House committee on ways and means, Arroyo sought the amendment of Paragraph (B) of Section 35 of RA 8424, as amended, which pertains to additional exemption for dependents.

The amendment provides that “An additional exemption of P25,000 for each elderly parent shall likewise be allowed to the individual taxpayer. Provided, that the elderly parent is chiefly dependent on and living with the taxpayer.”

Moreover, the amendment provides “For purposes of this Subsection, a ‘dependent’ means a legitimate, illegitimate or legally adopted child chiefly dependent upon and living with the taxpayer if such dependent is not more than 21 years of age, unmarried and not gainfully employed or an elderly parent who is at least 60 years old with no means of support or if such dependent, regardless of age, is incapable of self-support because of mental or physical defect.”

The Commissioner of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) shall issue the necessary rules and regulations for the effective implementation of the Act

by Rowena B. Bundang

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