Fifty-one private sector groups are calling for the swift passage of the proposed Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (Create) Act this year.

In a statement on Friday, members of some of the largest and most widely-represented private sector groups in the country, reiterated “their strongest and unequivocal support” for the immediate enactment of Create.

“We join the multisectoral call for the passage of this important legislative measure with urgency,” they added.

Formally known as Senate Bill 1357 and passed on third and final reading last November, the measure seeks to immediately cut the country’s corporate income tax (CIT) rate from 30 percent to 20 percent for local businesses with a net taxable income of P5 million and below and total assets (excluding land) of up to P100 million. Other businesses will see their CIT lowered to 25 percent.

Create also modernizes fiscal incentives by making them performance-based, targeted, time-bound and transparent.

“We humbly request the Senate and the House of Representatives to move quickly and decisively to push Create forward and ensure its immediate enactment,” the groups said.

They also warned that every day of delay on the passage of the legislation “comes at the risk of losing more jobs and hemorrhaging more investments.”

The groups added that Create is a stimulus package, which will be a boost to market confidence, providing instant relief to businesses suffering from business reverses due to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

Effective retroactively on July 1, 2020, the also acknowledged that the measure would instantly bring the country’s CIT rate closer to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ average of 21.65 percent and give firms more resources to retain their employees and to keep up with financial difficulties.

“As an investment-attracting move, the CIT cut also alters the financial prospectus of the Philippines for the better,” the groups said.

They are also hopeful that the proposal will give flexible authority to the Fiscal Incentives Review Board and the President in granting both fiscal and non-fiscal incentives will make the tax incentive system an agile mechanism that can seize high-value investment opportunities.

“We thank Congress for including proper safeguards against abuse of discretion or making it a political tool to grant favors to undeserving recipients,” the groups added.

They also recognized that Create provides a transition of 10 years for current holders of incentives. This should ease some concerns about the tax regime change.

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