Atienza slams Senate for throwing out P100K tax-free Christmas bonus, 13th month pay

0 160

Buhay partylist Rep. Lito Atienza has slammed the Senate for throwing out the House of Representatives’ initiative to increase to P100,000 the aggregate amount of 13th month pay, Christmas bonus and other benefits that may be received tax-free by employees every year.

“The whole point of the higher ceiling for tax-exempt bonuses and other benefits is to help as many employees as possible. The higher the limit, the greater the number of potential beneficiaries,” Atienza, the senior deputy minority leader, said.

“On top of the mandatory 13th month pay, a growing number of employees are now getting Christmas bonuses, productivity incentive handouts, loyalty rewards, cash gifts and other benefits of similar nature, and they deserve to fully enjoy all these subsidies,” Atienza said.

The proposed Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act passed by the House in May raised from P82,000 to P100,000 the maximum amount of 13th month pay, Christmas bonus and other benefits that may be earned by employees free of withholding income taxes.

However, the provision in House Bill (HB) 5636 was “dumped” when the Senate ways and means committee sent the measure out for plenary debate and approval, he said.

“The exclusion is unfair to compensation earners who for years have endured the burden of paying for the lion’s share of all personal income taxes,” said Atienza, former three-term mayor of Manila.