Gov't to fast-track foreign investors' VAT refund

By Louella D. Desiderio, The Philippine Star

Posted at Apr 07 2014 08:03 AM | Updated as of Apr 07 2014 07:06 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The government will fast-track the payment of value-added tax (VAT) refunds to foreign investors, a trade official said.

Trade Undersecretary Adrian Cristobal Jr. told reporters the move is in response to a concern which Japanese businesses in the Philippines has been raising during meetings with the government.

“On the TCCs (tax credit certificates), the government has responded to that concern. Now it is more of laying down rules and procedures. We will fast-track the rules and procedures on TCC reimbursements,” he said.

Cristobal made an assurance that VAT paid by Japanese investors will be reimbursed.

“The government assured its commitment because we already have those reimbursements in the GAA (General Appropriations Act) for 2014 and 2015,” he said.

As an incentive to investors, firms can claim refunds from the government for the advanced VAT payments made for imports of items used for goods they will export.

A TCC serves as proof of a company’s claim for tax credits, which are granted either to exporting firms that are entitled to duty-free privileges or to those that have tax refunds.

Aside from the VAT refunds, Cristobal said the government is also looking to address other issues raised by Japanese firms such as the need for accessible, affordable and reliable energy supply in the coming years as well as the utilization of the Batangas and Subic ports.

The meeting was attended by Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Toshinao Urabe, Cristobal, as well as representatives from other government agencies and the private sector.

The meeting of the sub-committee on improvement of business environment is held twice every year for the public and private sectors of Japan and the Philippines to discuss specific issues that will ensure transparent, predictable and consistent business environment.

The next meeting of the sub-committee is scheduled in September.

The JPEPA, which entered into force in December 2008, seeks to strengthen the economic relations of Japan and the Philippines.

The two countries are currently undertaking a review of the bilateral deal.