By Ernie Reyes
Sen. Nancy Binay (Photo Courtesy: PNA)
MANILA — Senator Nancy Binay today made an appeal to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to withdraw Revenue Regulation (RR) No. 5-2021 which would impose a 150% increase to the income tax of private schools.
“Marami na nga sa ating mga private school ang nagsara na dahil sa pandemya. Kung ipapatupad ang revenue regulation na ito, siguradong mas marami pa sa kanila ang tuluyan nang magsasara,” Binay said.
Under the regulation which was issued on April 8, 2021, income tax on so-called proprietary educational institutions that are run by stock corporations would be increased to 25% from the current 10%.
Binay said imposing additional taxes on private schools is contrary to the intent of the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act which was passed to help ease the effects of the pandemic on businesses through lower corporate income taxes.
“Tingin namin sa Senado merong lihis sa pagkaka-interpret ng batas. We passed the CREATE Law to help businesses survive the effects of the pandemic through tax incentives. The law plainly states (Section 2, paragraph-d) the need to create a more equitable tax incentive system that will allow for inclusive growth and the generation of jobs. Wala sa intensyon ng batas dagdagan pa ng pasanin at pasakit ang mga eskwelahan,” Binay said.
The senator said that the regulation is clearly against the spirit of the law, and asked the BIR to immediately rescind its issuance.
“Sa panahon ngayon, let’s be more sensitive to the struggles our kababayans are going through. Ito ang panahon ng pagtutulungan, at bilang mga kawani ng gobyerno, dapat nasa tamang pwesto ang mga puso natin para sa kapwa Pilipino,” Binay pointed out.
Binay supports Senate Bill 2272 filed by Senator Sonny Angara. It seeks to amend a section of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC) that aims to correct an erroneous interpretation on the tax imposed on proprietary educational institutions.
“Tulungan natin silang maka-survive. Wag na nating padapain pa lalo ang mga private school na nagpupumilit na makabangon,” she added.
While the bill has yet to be passed, Binay reminded the BIR to be more circumspect in its interpretation of laws and applying additional taxes during a pandemic.
“Hirap na hirap na nga lahat. Marami nang na-lay-off na teachers; marami nang nagsarang schools; malapit nang bumigay ang mga academic institution–taxing private schools with 25% does not make any sense at all. Konting puso naman sana,” she added. (AI/MTVN)