The Senate has passed a bill that may soon allow OFWs to bring more “pasalubongs” to their loved ones in the Philippines tax-free. The bill was approved by 19 senators with Senator Eduardo J. Angara sponsoring Senate Bill 2968 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).
The present tax-exempt ceiling is Php 10,000 and this bill will increase the amount to Php 150,000 tax-free balikbayan boxes. It also aims to increases the de minimis value or small items with small values from Php 10 to Php 10,000.
This privilege may be enjoyed by our OFWs three times every year. They may be able to send their families 2 boxes at the same time but not exceeding the value of Php 150,000. The items inside the boxes should also only be items for personal use and not for commercial sale or hire.
The bill also allows these tax-exempt values to change every 3 years to account for inflation. Donations and relief goods will also be duty-free during times of calamity.
OFWs who have not returned home to the Philippines for at least 10 years will be granted a tax-exemption for personal and household items of up to Php 350,000. Those who have stayed overseas for at least 5 years will be allowed up to Php 250,000 worth of tax-free goods.
The bill has been designated as a priority legislation by Malcanang. Many hope that this will improve and modernize BOC and its services and will attract more foreign direct investments. According to Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., “If the bicameral conference committee can work fast to harmonize the House and the Senate versions, our OFWs will enjoy the benefits of this law very soon.”
OFWs will soon enjoy higher tax-exempt ceilings for sending balikbayan boxes | BayanMall