DOJ calls for simplified tax code

27 August 2014

The Department of Justice today announced its support for ongoing Congressional initiatives to revise and amend the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997. The current measures include adjusting the individual income tax brackets and reducing the rates of individual income tax, excluding 13th month pay and other benefits from taxable income computation, granting tax deductions to parents and legal guardians of children with special needs, among others.

"Not only must there be a restudy, we must draft a modern and rational tax code that promotes ease of compliance, lessens the discretion and avenues for graft and corruption and equitably distributes the tax burden," said Secretary Leila M. De Lima.  "Justice in all its forms must be pursued specially on the economic front," she said.

The DOJ has a Codification Program that recently completed the new Criminal Code of the Philippines meant to transform the legal  framework in the definition and punishment of crimes. It adopts a practical, multi-sectoral and consultative approach while  maintaining transparency and accountability.

Ahead of the Joint Hearing of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means and Committee on  Education, Arts and Culture scheduled on 28 August 2014 to come up with a comprehensive approach to tax reform and curbing tax evasion, the DOJ will formally present a strategic roadmap on updating the tax brackets and plugging tax loopholes among other pressing concerns.

Assistant Secretary Geronimo L Sy, Chair of the Code Committee will represent the Department in the tax reform agenda. "We believe that a simple and well-designed tax code will provide legal certainty to the business environment and encourage the informal sector to join the formal economy thereby boosting revenues and minimizing fraud and litigations," he said.

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