By Myrna M. Velasco
A new Executive Order (EO) issued by President Rodrigo R. Duterte renders a uniform assessment rate on real property taxes (RPT) to be levied to power plant projects; while also condoning interest charges on unsettled real property taxes of project developers.
EO 60, which was issued by Malacañang on July 25 this year, effectively reduced the assessment rate level of real property taxes of power projects to 15-percent of the fair market value of specified property, machinery and equipment.
That was basically trimmed down from the 40 to 80-percent assessment rates that most local government unit-hosts of power projects have opted to apply in their calculation of RPT dues of the generation companies (GenCos) and independent power producers (IPPs).
For more than two decades, the RPT assessment levels and settlements had been that “P40 billion to P80 billion unresolved headache” of almost all players in the power industry – and it is just being addressed this time by the Duterte administration.
In the Duterte-sanctioned EO, it was likewise prescribed that the RPT payments of power companies be allowed a 2.0-percent depreciation rate per annum, and “less any amounts already paid by the IPPs.”
The EO further directed that “all interests on deficiency real property tax liabilities are also hereby condoned and the concerned IPPs are hereby relieved from payment thereof.”
The Palace order similarly stated that “all real property tax payments made by the IPPs over and above the reduced amount shall be applied to their real property tax liabilities for the succeeding years.”
The EO thus stipulated that “all concerned departments, agencies and instrumentalities of the government, including relevant government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) and LGUs are hereby ordered to strictly comply with this Order.”
In the build-operate-transfer (BOT) deals with IPPs that have power supply deals underwritten then by state-run National Power Corporation, it was expressly provided that RPT payments shall be to its account or its successor-firm Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation.
And while it was rendered under the Local Government Code that GOCC-contracted IPPs be extended a special assessment rate of 10-percent, it had been manifest that many LGU-host communities had not been adhering to that prescription.
Given the accumulation of such tax liabilities then, even the national government fears that this will adversely affect the State’s fiscal consolidation initiatives, hence, the Department of Finance (DOF) batted for a uniform RPT assessment rates for power projects.
The EO chiefly acknowledged that “since a substantial portion of real property taxes being charged have been contractually assumed by NPC/PSALM and carry the full faith and credit of the national government, the collection of the subject RPT by the LGUs concerned will trigger massive direct liabilities on the part of such GOCCs, thereby threatening their financial stability, the government’s fiscal consolidation efforts, the stability of energy prices and may even trigger further cross-defaults and significant economic losses across all sectors.”
By Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan Reporter
THE BUREAU of Internal Revenue (BIR) recently amended rules on the valuation of real property gifts for the computation of the donor’s tax in order to ease compliance.
Revenue Regulation (RR) 17-2018, signed by Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III on July 24 but published last week, said that “the valuation of gifts in the form of property shall follow the rules set forth in Section 5,” from Section 6 previously, provided that “the reckoning point for valuation shall be the date when the donation is made.”
This means that payment of tax on such properties are now based on gross estate value according to their fair market value at the time of the decedent’s death.
Previously under RR 12-2018 — the consolidated implementing rules and regulations on imposing estate and donors taxes — the value of such property was determined by deducting claims against the estate; claims of the deceased against insolvent persons; unpaid mortgages, taxes and casualty losses; property previously taxed; transfers for public use; current fair market value of the decedent’s family home; amount received by heirs and the net share of the surviving spouse in the conjugal partnership or community property.
BIR Deputy Commissioner Marissa O. Cabreros said in a mobile phone message yesterday that the new regulation “provided ease in compliance.”
Sought for comment, Tax Management Association of the Philippines President Raymund S. Gallardo said the previous rule had “nothing to do with valuation.”
“Under RR12 -2018, valuation of properties subject to Donor’s Tax made reference to Sec. 6 which is about the computation of the net estate, which has nothing to do with valuation. Sec. 5 of RR 12-2018 is about valuation of properties included in the gross estate of a decedent,” Mr. Gallardo explained in a mobile phone message over the weekend.
“Valuation of properties subject of gratuitous transfers such as donation and inheritance follow the same principle of valuation, such that the valuation of real properties in computing the estate or donor’s tax is the higher of the fair market value (FMV) as determined by the Commissioner (which is normally the zonal value) or the FMV as shown in the values fixed by provincial or city assessors at the time of death of the decedent or date when the gift was made,” he added.
Republic Act No 10963, or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion law, simplified estate and donor’s taxes at fixed rate of six percent.
“For the purposes of prescribing real property values, the Commissioner is authorized to divide the Philippines into different zones or areas shall, upon consultation with competent appraisers, both from the private and public sectors, determine the fair market value of real properties located in each zone or area,” read the regulation.
Revenue Regulations (RRs) are issuances signed by the Secretary of Finance, upon recommendation of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, that specify, prescribe or define rules and regulations for the effective enforcement of the provisions of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC) and related statutes
Revenue Memorandum Orders (RMOs) are issuances that provide directives or instructions; prescribe guidelines; and outline processes, operations, activities, workflows, methods and procedures necessary in the implementation of stated policies, goals, objectives, plans and programs of the Bureau in all areas of operations, except auditing.
Revenue Memorandum Rulings (RMRs) are rulings, opinions and interpretations of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue with respect to the provisions of the Tax Code and other tax laws, as applied to a specific set of facts, with or without established precedents, and which the Commissioner may issue from time to time for the purpose of providing taxpayers guidance on the tax consequences in specific situations. BIR Rulings, therefore, cannot contravene duly issued RMRs; otherwise, the Rulings are null and void ab initio
Revenue Memorandum Circular (RMCs) are issuances that publish pertinent and applicable portions, as well as amplifications, of laws, rules, regulations and precedents issued by the BIR and other agencies/offices.
Revenue Bulletins (RB) refer to periodic issuances, notices and official announcements of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue that consolidate the Bureau of Internal Revenue's position on certain specific issues of law or administration in relation to the provisions of the Tax Code, relevant tax laws and other issuances for the guidance of the public.
BIR Rulings are official position of the Bureau to queries raised by taxpayers and other stakeholders relative to clarification and interpretation of tax laws.