Majority of Filipino business leaders would welcome more global cooperation and guidance from tax authorities on what is acceptable and unacceptable tax planning, even if this provided less opportunity to reduce tax liabilities across borders, according to the latest research from the Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR).
Results released by audit, tax, advisory and outsourcing services firm Punongbayan & Araullo (P&A) showed that 92 percent of Filipinos surveyed would like more tax guidance, compared to 86 percent of ASEAN businesses and 68 percent globally.
According to P&A division head for tax Atty. Lea Roque, “The high percentage of Filipinos requesting for more tax guidance shows that taxpayers are at a loss when it comes to the various changes that are being implemented. Taxpayers would welcome more dialogue and consultation with the regulators. Compliance becomes difficult when there is not enough guidance available.”
Compared to their peers around the world, local business leaders seem more satisfied with their current tax regime: 76 percent say tax laws and policies are taxing the correct taxpayers at the correct levels, compared to just 28 percent globally; 68 percent believe these same policies are geared to stimulate economic growth, compared to just 31 percent globally.
An overwhelming 82 percent of Filipino business leaders also say current tax laws work towards encouraging tax compliance; globally, only 37 percent think so.
However, there are respondents who believe the current tax regime does not bring enough economic participants into the tax base: 62 percent of Filipinos polled say not enough people and entities are being taxed, compared to 49 percent globally. And 58 percent believe the tax regime does not facilitate the redistribution of wealth.
The survey also asked respondents what they think should be the main source of tax revenue for their government. Twenty-eight percent of local business leaders believe it should be sales tax, while 26 percent say it should be VAT.