By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Senators have agreed to lower to 10 percent the excise tax rate on cosmetic procedures under the proposed tax reform bill.
This, after Senators debated over Senator Ralph Recto’s move to delete cosmetic surgeries from the list of “non-essential goods and services” which, in the proposed Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN), would be levied with a 20-percent excise tax.
Reconstructive surgeries for defects are not covered by the provision and were exempt from the excise tax.
Sen. Franklin Drilon, who had earlier moved for the retention of the provision in the tax reform measure, made the compromise during the period of amendments on the TRAIN bill Monday evening.
Citing “equity,” Drilon opposed the Recto proposal which was initially accepted by Senate Committee on Ways and Means chair Sen. Edgardo “Sonny” Angara.
“I cannot accept this. That we will impose a tax on the poor especially when we read about some extravagant wedding abroad… Opera House, Paris, which we will not impose a tax with. That is not right,” Drilon said, apparently referring to a recent wedding of a known celebrity cosmetics doctor in Paris.
“This is totally unjust, it violates the principle of progressive taxation,” he argued.
Drilon said the government is expected to generate P10 billion from the tax collected from the luxury procedure.
Senators Vicente Sotto and Richard Gordon supported Drilon. Sen. Riza Hontiveros, meanwhile, said she supports the retention of the 20-percent excise tax on cosmetic procedures for aesthetic purposes.
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