Five percent tax delays payment of teachers honorarium

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DAVAO CITY (MAY 21 )—The confusion brought about by the five percent tax exemption issue  caused delay in the payment of teachers honoraria,  the Commission on Elections (Comelec) here revealed.

The Comelec was ready to release the teachers honoraria but the issue on the five percent withholding tax was raised, causing the delay.

With this,  the Comelec is appealing for consideration to the teachers who served as Board of Election Tellers (BET), for the delayed release of their honoraria,

Lawyer Mohammad Omar Samama,  spokesperson of Comelec Davao City, explained that the delay is due to the confusion on the deduction of five percent withholding tax.

“Kasi ganito, after nag appeal ang party-list na Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) na gusto nila ma-exempt. So, nagkaproblema ngayon, kasi may mga certain(teachers) na nag-serve sa electoral board na-exempt, pero meron ding hindi (After the appeal of Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Party-list to exempt them from the tax, the problem came out because there were certain members of the electoral board who were exempted and there are others were not),” he said.

Samama said the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) approved the request of the teachers provided that each of them has a less than P250,000 annual income.

“Nagkalituhan kung sino ang subject na i-tax at (sino) ang hindi kasi hindi, We don;t know them personally,” he stressed.

With the approval by the BIR< teachers want to be exempted need to submit a notarized sworn statement,, stating that their annual income didn’t reach or lower than P250,000 every year. But, if the teachers want to be deducted with the five percent tax, they fill in a BIR 2307 form.

“The problem with the sworn statement is, if the BIR found that their annual income is beyond P250,000 for perjury, so to be sure, if they really know that their income is beyond P250,000 they should fill in the 2307 form,” he said.

Samama said that they should also consider the number of teachers, since the city has a lot of teachers who served as members of the electoral board. He explained teh need to fix the system first befor ethey can proceed with teh payment.

Some 8.199 teachers served as BET during the May 14 election, of whom 3,243 from the first district, 2,589 from the second district and 2,367 from the third district respectively.

Samama said that the Comelec national office gave them a 15-day deadline since the election and he assured the teacher that before May 29 they will already give their honorarium which will be deposited to their cash cards.

Under Republic Act No. 10756 or the Election Service Reform Act, the chairperson of the electoral boards will receive P6,000, the electoral board member is given P5,000 while the Department of Education supervisor official will get P4,000 and the support staff is given P2,000.-Ermand B. Fenequito Jr

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