Sunday, April 14, 2024

Tax Breaks For Stores Offering Bigger Goods Discounts To Seniors Eyed


Tax Breaks For Stores Offering Bigger Goods Discounts To Seniors Eyed


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A lawmaker on Tuesday appealed to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to consider granting tax credits to supermarkets and other retail outlets required to give price cuts in conjunction with the implementation of the higher monthly discounts on essential grocery items purchased by senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs).

Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte Jr. said granting tax breaks or deductions to supermarkets and other retail stores would ensure greater compliance with the expanded discount scheme, which hiked the weekly cap covered by the 5-percent discount from PHP1,300 to PHP2,500.

“Such a tax break would spell financial relief for them—and help ensure their greater compliance with this new House-initiated economic benefit for our seniors and PWDs in the face of the ever-spiraling cost of basic commodities,” Villafuerte said in a statement.

Villafuerte said full compliance with this new policy would be impactful, especially with the recently approved price increases in about 40 basic necessities and prime commodities (BNPCs), including instant noodles, soap, and bottled water

“If the BIR does not consider granting tax credits to retail outlets, there is a greater possibility for supermarkets or grocery stores to ignore this would-be policy or jack up the prices of their BNPC items to cancel out the discounts of seniors and PWDs who would buy from them,” he said.

The basic necessities covered by the new policy include rice; bread; fresh, dried and canned fish; fresh pork, beef and poultry meat; fresh and processed; fresh vegetables; instant noodles; coffee; sugar; cooking oil; salt; laundry and detergent soap; household liquid petroleum gas (LPG); charcoal and kerosene.

The prime commodities covered include flour; dried, processed, and canned pork, beef, and poultry meat; dairy products; onions and garlic; vinegar, fish sauce or patis and soy sauce; toilet and bath soap; fertilizer and pesticides; feeds for poultry, livestock, and fish; veterinary products; paper and school supplies; cement, plywood and construction nails.

Citing the Philippine Amalgamated Supermarkets Association Inc. (PAGASA) and the Philippine Retailers Association (PRA), Villafuerte said subsidies and tax credits would be beneficial to relieve retailers, especially the small enterprises, of the higher BNPC discounts.

Under the new policy, seniors and PWD can avail of up to PHP125 discount on BNPCs per week, higher than the previous PHP65.

The new joint administrative order (JAO) likewise provides rules on giving the same special discount on BNPCs bought online as establishments will have their verification process.

Senior and PWD identification cards and the Office of Senior Citizen Affairs (OSCA) booklet should be presented upon delivery of the products.

The 5-percent discount on LPG covers cylinders with a net content of not more than 11 kilograms and could be availed of only every five months.

Small-scale stores and businesses registered with cooperatives are exempted from giving out special discounts to seniors and PWD. (PNA)

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