THOMASIANS expressed hope that Senate Bill 2255 or “An Act Providing Tax Exemption on the Educational Expenses incurred by a Taxpayer,” which seeks an additional tax-exemption limit of P20,000 per student for educational expenses of families, will be enacted.

UST Rector Fr. Tamerlane Lana, O.P., said the University is fully supporting the bill.

“It would now be easier for the parents to support their children in hopes of a better future. We hope that the other educational institutions and the government ensure better partnership with the parents in cases like this,” he said.

The bill, authored by Senator Noli de Castro and certified as urgent by Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, provides an additional tax exemption based on actual tuition and other ordinary education expenses incurred by a taxpayer for a maximum of four students. The bill expects strong support from the public.

“Education is an investment, not only for the future of the students, but also of the nation,” De Castro said.” With this in mind, the bill aims to ensure access of education to more Filipinos, if not all.”

The 1997 National Internal Revenue Code states that every taxpayer is entitled to an P8,000.00 tax-exemption per dependent, not exceeding four. The tax-exemption is accorded even if the dependent is not going to school.

A dependent is a legitimate, illegitimate, or legally adopted child of not more than 21 years old chiefly reliant upon and living with the taxpayer, unmarried and not gainfully employed, or is incapable of self-support because of mental or physical defect.

In the case of married couples, the exemptions can be claimed by only one of the spouses.

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However, College of Commerce professor Atty. Geronimo Gregorio said the bill would be a win-lose situation for the taxpayers and the government.

“The bill would lessen the taxable income of the taxpayers so that they would have greater ‘take-home pay’ to be used for education purposes their children. On the other hand, it would mean less revenue for the government. And we’re talking big numbers here, considering the amount of the additional exemption and the number of dependents.”

Meanwhile, Camarines Sur Representative Rolando Andaya Jr. introduced the counterpart House Bill 4948 seeking similar amendments. Both bills are still under deliberation and are expected to be passed early next year.

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