Accomplishing BIR-related matters of start on the first month of the new fiscal year. This is necessary to do because it is through our taxes that the government gets some of its funding. We all get taxed one way or another. Those earning 250,000php and below are exempted from paying taxes, but it does not mean that they do not pay any taxes at all. The taxes they pay are included in the things that they purchase, the value-added tax.

Every year employees go to the accounting office to get the necessary forms such as their sworn statements and income tax returns. After filling up forms, they proceed to the Bureau of Internal Revenue office and pay the fee. Since most of the job orders and contract of service employees earn PhP250.00 and below, they need to file their sworn statements to prove that they indeed are eligible for tax exemption. Should employees fail to do this, they are going to be taxed until they file it.

Earlier this year, confusion ensued because some of the employees were unaware that they were taxed or had to pay a fee for late income tax return filings and such. Many went to inquire at the Accounting Office. Employees demanded an explanation. They were caught off-guard by the fees. The fees were non-refundable.

To address the concerns of the employees, the Accounting office together with the Gender and Development team decided to conduct a tax seminar. They tapped the Atty. Raquel R. Dujunco, CPA, the legal officer of ASCOT. The seminars were scheduled on Feb. 23-24, 2021. Seven sessions were scheduled. On the first day, three sessions were dedicated to COS/JO with no other income and one was for COS/JO with other income. On the second day, one session was scheduled for regular employees with no other income and another one was for regular employees with other income. Employees listed their names on their preferred batch and time.

Each session took at least an hour. Atty. Dujunco, CPA thoroughly explained the difference in the requirements for those earning less than 250k and those earning more than 250k. She pointed out that for COS/JO employees, what ASCOT gives them is not a salary, but rather a professional fee. This is because there is no employer-employee relationship between the COS/JO and ASCOT. She reiterated that in order to be eligible for tax exemption, the employees must provide proof. Thus, the need for the sworn statement and the payment of 500php every year to the BIR. For COS/JO employees with other income, they need to inform the accounting office because if their total exceeds 250k per year, they will be taxed. Income Tax Return was also tackled. It should be filed on or before April 15. This was discussed extensively since this was where some COS/JO employees got confused because they paid penalty fees for late filing.

The attendees left each session with more understanding about the taxation of compensation. Health protocols were followed before, during, and after the seminar.