Update on Tax Reform in the Philippines


The Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act (TRAIN) is the first tax reform package of President Rodrigo Duterte's Comprehensive Tax Reform Program. In its current form, the TRAIN bill will reduce personal income tax rates, address personal income tax "bracket creep,” amend the estate tax, expand the value-added tax base, and remove a number of exemptions currently contained in the value-added tax. It also calls for increased taxes on fuel, new vehicles and coal, and introduces a new tax on sweetened beverages and cosmetics.

The House of Representatives passed the TRAIN bill as House Bill No. 5636 on 31 May 2017. It was then approved by the Senate Ways and Means Committee as Senate Bill No. 1592 on 22 September and is expected to be signed into law by mid-December for enactment on 1 January 2018.

The latest Philippines Senate Tax Study and Research Office update on the TRAIN bill is available here.

Wayne Barford is an Advisor for the International Tax and Investment Center (ITIC), based in Australia.