Spare the poor.
Senator Bam Aquino made this pronouncement as he called for the swift passage of the Marginal Income Earners (MIE) bill, saying ‘it could be another landmark bill of this administration which is pro-poor and pro-business.’
During the Senate Ways and Means committee hearing on the MIE bill, Aquino stressed the measure doesn’t affect the government’s revenue-collection efforts and, at the same time, eases the burden of millions of Filipinos.
“I’m hoping that we can move this forward,” said Aquino, adding that the Senate has already reached out to its House counterpart to look into the MIE Bill.
Aquino filed Senate Bill 2227 which seeks to exempt MIEs such as farmers, fishermen, tricycle drivers, small sari-sari storeowners and other micro-entrepreneurs, from paying income tax
Under Senate Bill 2227, Aquino said MIEs, or self-employed individuals who earn not more than the minimum wage equivalent in their regions, should be spared from paying income tax, just like minimum wage earners.
“The MIE bill basically exempts marginal income earners at the same level as the minimum wage earners,” said Aquino.
Aquino filed the bill after the Bureau of Internal Revenue released a memorandum circular — Revenue Memorandum Circular (RMC) No. 7-2014 — compelling micro entrepreneurs to pay income tax returns.
According to BIR’s circular, MIEs include agricultural growers/producers such as farmers and fishermen selling directly to consumers, small sari-sari stores, small carinderias or “turo-turos,” and drivers/operators of a single unit tricycle.
“Charging taxes does not help them in any way. Rather, it becomes a burden to a sector that is situated below the poverty line,” Aquino said.
“Imposing income tax on our micro businessmen is tantamount to confiscating what little income they are able to make on a daily basis,” he added.
“This measure is just and fair and follows the constitutional provision of equal protection to all Filipinos.”