Expats, Filipinos and visitors to the Philippines can now relax. The AIR (Annual Information Return) proposal by BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue) Chief Kim Henares has had the air let out of it by Filipino lawmakers. Legislators ripped Henares a new one as they blasted the AIR proposal, Revenue Regulation No. 02-2011, issued March 1, compelling individuals earning P38,462 a month to file an AIR with their annual income tax return on a voluntary basis initially this year and to become mandatory starting next year. The lawmakers deemed her regulation illegal and unconstitutional. Thank God for some politicians with common sense!
This is the second time in less than a year in office that Commissioner Henares has been forced to back down. Henares had to retreat on a previous policy measure after the Philippines Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order against her proposal to impose a 12-percent value added tax on toll rates, a proposal which was also savaged by representatives and senators, according to a report in the PhilSTAR.com.
It had been reported that the filing of the AIR was to be required of private individuals, including foreigners residing in the Philippines, as well as non-resident foreigners who are engaged in business here, according to the Inquirer.net. I've got news for you, brother, my income comes from an retirement account I have in the United States. I pay taxes to Uncle Sam every year. If you think I was going to succumb to another invasion of privacy and file this idiotic AIR, you are mistaken. Don't have to be concerned about it now thanks to the Filipino legislators. My hat's off to all of you!