Poll watchers with less than P250K annual salary to be exempted from withholding tax

  • The withholding tax on honoraria and travel allowances of poll watchers or poll officers in the elections will be waived for those earning less than 250,000 a year
  • DepEd said that the tax refund will be given out to poll watchers in the next two weeks

The withholding tax on honoraria and travel allowances of poll watchers or poll officers in the upcoming Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections will be waived for those earning less than 250,000 a year.

In the Commission on Elections (Comelec) resolution dated May 11, the agency said poll watchers with an annual net taxable compensation of not more than P250,000 will be exempted from paying their withholding tax.

Earlier, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has ruled to impose a 5% withholding tax on honoraria and allowances of poll watchers. However, Comelec noted that there are select exemptions but those seeking for a tax exemption should secure a certification of qualification from the BIR.

The Comelec resolution reads: “To determine if a person is exempted from withholding tax on compensation, said person is required under rules and regulations of the Bureau of Internal Revenue to execute a Sworn Declaration in the form prescribed by the BIR that his/her net taxable compensation for the year will not exceed Two Hundred Fifty Thousand Pesos.”

Meanwhile, Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones in a separate statement said that the tax refund will be given out to poll watchers in the next two weeks.

“The TRAIN Law specifies that those with annual income below P250,000 will be tax exempt. Computations were made: it will range from P300 to P350,” Briones said.

“In two weeks time, that will be returned once our teacher-volunteers submit and have their certification of salary grade verified,” she added.

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