“Making Election Officials Pay Tax-Free”

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RE-ELECTOR Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian said on Tuesday, April 12 that he would pursue the enactment of his bill which will provide tax exemption on fees, travel allowances and other benefits for election workers, including teachers , officials and staff of the Ministry of Education.

Chairman of Senate Basic Education, Culture and Arts Committee says election fees and allowances for election officials, including public school teachers, have never been taxed until 2018, when the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) imposed a 5% withholding tax. on these benefits.

For the national elections of May 9, 2022, the BIR imposes a 20% withholding tax on the fees and travel allowances that the electoral agents will receive.

More than 300,000 teachers will serve in electoral councils.

Election officials’ election fees remain subject to income tax if their annual taxable income exceeds the P250,000 threshold under the Acceleration and Inclusion Tax Reform or the Trains Act.

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Those earning 250,000 pesos a year had to submit a tax exemption declaration, a process that increases the burden on election officials, Gatchalian said.

In 2019, the senator introduced Senate Bill 1193 so that election workers could receive the full amount of their fees, travel allowances and other benefits.

He said giving election workers their full election fees and allowances is the best way to show gratitude and appreciation for ensuring clean, fair and orderly elections in the country.

In November 2021, Gatchalian noted, the Election Commission issued a resolution providing for the fee rates for election officials.

Under the resolution, the president of the electoral council will receive 7,000 pesos, members of electoral councils will receive 6,000 pesos, supervising officials of DepEd or DESO will receive 5,000 pesos and support staff and medical personnel will receive 3,000 pesos. .

Election workers will also receive a transport allowance of P2,000, a communication allowance of P1,500 and an anti-Covid allowance of P500 and medical and accident insurance.

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