The extended value-added tax law is one of the most recent instruments of fiscal reform in the Philippines. Also known as RA 9337, the EVAT law was passed on May 11, 2005 by the Senate. This newly law implemented taxation on commodities that in the past were tax-exempt, such as petroleum, electricity and services to name a few. Aside from this, the law also increased sin taxes, or taxes on alcoholic beverages and cigarettes. In February 2006, the extended value added tax was increased from 10% to 12%. In addition, corporate tax also moved from 32% to 35%. Through this new law, the government was able to obtain additional revenues of PHP 81.4 B in 2006. We are all aware that the EVAT law was famously advocated by Senator Ralph Recto, as he served as the spokesperson in the Senate.
The law was formally passed on the 11th of May 2005, and since then has been scrutinized by the public. This law was actually designed by international creditors so that the country can pay its international loans. Despite the positive turnout of the law, however, Senator Ralph Recto lost in the elections. Some people have saying that his name was associated with higher taxes, thus the people not so keen on voting for him.
Republic Act No. 9337 – The Expanded Value-Added Tax Act of 2005, further amending certain provisions of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997 (Republic Act No. 8424), as amended
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo had signed into law on May 24, 2005 Republic Act No. 9337, also known as the Expanded Value-Added Tax Act of 2005, which will take effect starting July 1, 2005. The said law was enacted to streamline and restructure the present VAT system and to provide additional revenue for the government through the increased tax rates, lifting of exemptions, and subjecting to tax transactions not previously covered by tax, in order to balance the government’s budget and to curb the existing fiscal deficit. Some of the salient features of R.A. 9337 are as follows: (1) increase in corporate income tax from the current rate of 32% to 35%, provided that effective January 1, 2009, the said rate will be reduced to 30%; (2) the new rate of limitation for the deductibility of interest expense from 38% to 42%; (3) the “stand-by power” of the President to increase the VAT rate from 10% to 12% upon the recommendation of the Secretary of Finance under certain conditions starting January 1, 2006; (4) lifting of VAT exemptions on the sale of power and electricity, fuel and petroleum products, air and sea transport services, and on services of doctors and lawyers, among others; (5) additional exemption from VAT for the sale, importation or lease of passenger or cargo vessels and aircraft, including engine equipment and spareparts thereof for domestic or international transport operations as well as the importation of fuel, goods and supplies by international shipping or air transport operators; (6) the new invoicing and accounting requirements for VAT-registered persons, including (a) the clarifications of the kind of transactions when to issue VAT invoice or official receipts, (b) the necessary information to be contained in the VAT invoice or official receipts (c) the separation of VAT from the gross value of goods or services on the face of the VAT invoice or official receipts; (7) the option granted to VAT exempt taxpayer to register for VAT; (8) the limit on the application and carry-over of input tax credits which shall not exceed 70% of the total output tax for the quarter; and (9) the removal of the option to claim for refund or credit against other internal revenue taxes for the input tax attributable to the domestic purchase or importation of capital goods.