Seal of the Philippine House of Representatives

Seal of the Philippine House of Representatives

MANILA   (Mabuhay) — A House leader remains optimistic that the congressional proposal to grant additional tax exemption to taxpayers with disabled dependents will still be enacted into law during the remaining days of the 15th Congress, otherwise he vowed to re-file the bill in the next Congress.

Rep. Giorgidi Aggabao (4th District Isabela), a vice chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means and one of the authors of House Bill 5431, seeking to provide for additional tax exemption to taxpayers with disabled dependents, remains hopeful the proposal will ultimately be enacted into law during the present Congress.

The House of Representatives approved HB 5431 on third and final reading on December 13, 2011, while the Senate approved its version, Senate Bill 2855, on third reading last January 28, 2013.

“We remain hopeful the reconciled version will be hammered out and ratified by both the House and the Senate when we resume sessions next month, and ultimately be signed into law by the President. Otherwise, it will be refiled in the next Congress. A good proposal like HB 5431 should be pursued,” said Aggabao.

The additional tax exemption will help parents and guardians of children with special needs deal with the expenses they incur for these children’s therapy, treatment and education according to him.

House Bill 5431 substituted HB 3765 authored by Rep. Deogracias Ramos, Jr. (2nd District, Sorsogon), HB 4026 by Rep. Marlyn Primicias-Agabas (6th District, Pangasinan), HB 4793 by Rep. Hermilando Mandanas (2nd District, Batangas), and HB 5100 by Reps. Diosdado Arroyo (2nd District, Camarines Sur) and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (2nd District, Pampanga).

The bill seeks to grant additional exemption to an individual taxpayer, amending for the purpose Section 35(B) of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, as amended by Republic Act 9504. The amendment provides that for an individual taxpayer, there shall be allowed an additional exemption of P25,000 for each dependent without disability, not exceeding four and P50,000 for each dependent with disability.

The additional exemption for dependents shall be claimed by only one of the spouses in the case of married individuals. In the case of legally separated spouses, only the spouse who has custody of the child or children may claim additional exemptions.

An individual taxpayer who is the legal guardian of a disabled person may claim the additional exemption for the said dependent, provided that only the legal guardian can avail of the additional exemption for a particular taxable year to the exclusion of the biological parents, the bill provides.

The term “disabled person” based on the bill, refers to a person suffering from restriction or different abilities as a result of mental, physical or sensory impairment, to perform an activity in the manner or within the range considered normal for a human being.

Other authors of HB 5431 are Reps. Jesus Crispin Remulla (7th District, Cavite), Andres Salvacion Jr. (3rd District, Leyte), Fatima Aliah Dimaporo (2nd District, Lanao del Norte, Philip Pichay (1st District, Surigao del Sur), Jerry Treñas (Lone District, Iloilo City), Mark Villar (Lone District, Las Piñas City), Carol Jane Lopez (Party-list, YACAP) and Linabelle Ruth Villarica (4th District, Bulacan). (MNS)