Tax break for retirees
Senate Bill No. 1592 reduces the individual tax exemption for all individual taxpayers—whether employed or self-employed — from the House of Representatives-approved amount of P250,000 down to P150,000.
However, the Senate version retains the exemption of P82,000 covering 13th month pay, other bonuses and other fringe benefits for the employed. It also retains the maximum exemption for dependents up to P100,000.
Under this Senate version, a bank officer with four dependents will have a total individual income tax exemption of P332,000 while the elderly retiree whose retirement income comes from house rental, for example, is only entitled to P150,000. Yet, this group of retirees now incur substantial medical costs including the need to hire caregivers.
We suggest that the self-employed be also entitled to the additional P82,000 for bonuses and fringe benefits. After all, can they not give themselves bonuses and fringe benefits as the employed?
We also suggest that Congress consider giving retirees an additional tax exemption for medical care in an amount similar to the tax exemption given for dependents.
JOSE M. MALVAR, a voice-handicapped, very senior citizen
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