Press Release
March 30, 2016

Recto: P25,000 tax break for 'PWD caregivers'
Urges DSWD, DOF to rush implementing rules

The new law granting tax exemption and discounts on certain purchases made by persons with disability (PWD) also grants income tax deduction to those who care for them, one of the measure's principal authors explained today.

Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto said "PWD caregivers" can claim additional tax deductions in their yearly tax returns based on a provision of Republic Act 10754, which President Aquino signed on March 23.

However, this privilege cannot be enjoyed for the tax-filing deadline on April 15, as income tax returns will only cover income derived during the past year.

RA 10754 incorporated a Recto bill assigning the PWD the status of a dependent for income tax purposes.

A child, parent, sibling, or a relative of up to fourth degree of consanguinity or affinity who is caring for or living with a PWD, who in turn is chiefly dependent on the relative and incapable of self-support, can claim additional tax exemption, Recto said.

"Kung kasama ang fourth civil degree of affinity, kasama dyan ang parent-in-law o biyenan ng taxpayer, hanggang first cousin-in-law," Recto explained.

The tax deduction of P25,000 annually is the same as what is currently claimed by a parent of a child not over the age of 21.

"This is certainly not enough but this is significant because it breaks the longstanding embargo that carrying for a PWD cannot be claimed as a tax deduction," Recto said.

The law amends the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997 and allows individual taxpayers caring for PWDs to treat them as dependents in deducting income tax due.

Recto said the next move is the government's, by seeing to it that the IRR for the law will be issued immediately.

"I hope this IRR will not move on crutches. Sana mabilis. Any delay in effect freezes the benefits," Recto said.

Under RA 10754, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), in consultation with the Department of Health (DOH), the Department of Finance (DOF), and the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA), shall promulgate the IRR.

In case of delay, authors of the bill have installed a safety net by including the provision that "failure of the concerned agencies to promulgate the said rules and regulations shall not prevent the implementation of this Act upon its effectivity."

"Secretary Dinky Soliman should immediately convene the IRR drafting committee," Recto said, referring to the DSWD head.

Recto said "he foresees no delay because there is an existing template, the one granted to senior citizens, insofar as discounts on purchases are made."

The bill, he explained, merely grants to PWDs benefits already enjoyed by seniors, "so we're not starting from scratch. There is a tried system already in place. From points of sale sa stores, may sistema na."

In the case of income tax deduction PWD caregivers may avail of, "there's a library of revenue regulations which can be used as basis," Recto said.

Recto delivered the co-sponsorship speech on the Expanded PWD Benefits Bill on the Senate floor last August 10, 2015.

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