Philippines eyes tourist tax refunds by 2024: Diokno


Posted at Feb 03 2023 12:34 PM

MANILA - The Philippine government is exploring global practices to determine how best to implement tax refunds for tourists, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said Friday.

President Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos Jr earlier approved the tax refund for tourists after it was recommended by the Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) Tourism Sector Group. It is set to take effect in 2024.

Diokno said the government is likely to tap a third-party contractor.

"Right now we are trying to find out the most favorable modality. What is the global practice? I think it is a third party...taking care of the refund," Diokno said during a meeting with the Makati Business Club.

"Usually at the airport yan, instead of the sale level kasi mataas ang leakage pag ganon eh. Usually sa airport yon. But we are studying it and we will implement it in 2024," he said.

BIR Commissioner Romeo Lumagui Jr. earler said the agency was eyeing measures to improve revenue generation to offset potential losses from tax refunds.

Diokno said what could help are better tax implementation and computerization.

"To me, right now I am happy with the current tax system. It is not perfect, it can be improved upon. But maybe we will focus on better tax administration, computerization, etc," the Finance Chief said. 

"In fact we did very well, our revenues were quite high, relative to our program. That is why we were able to pay our debt. In fact our debt-to-GDP ratio is now 60.9 rather than 63, and so that is basically because of the better tax collection and the appreciation of the peso and of course the GDP," he added.


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