BIR to expedite tax exemptions for socialized-housing land transfers

BusinessWorld Online
November 04, 2016

CERTIFICATES of Tax Exemption (CTEs) covering the transfer of land intended for use in government socialized housing projects will be prioritized by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), under an agreement signed with housing regulators.

The memorandum of agreement (MoA) was signed by the bureau, the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and the National Housing Authority (NHA).

BIR Commissioner Caesar R. Dulay, Vice-President and HUDCC Chairperson Maria Leonor G. Robredo and NHA Acting General Manager Marcelino P. Escalada, Jr., signed the MoA on the availment of tax incentives for government socialized housing projects, the BIR said in a statement e-mailed to reporters.

The MoA is pursuant to Republic Act (RA) No. 7279, or the “Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992,” which mandates that the NHA be exempted from the payment of fees and charges of any kind, including income and real estate taxes.

The BIR, as the agency that enforces tax laws and collects all national internal revenue taxes, fees, and charges, will streamline and prioritize the processing and issuance of CTEs for the transfer of raw land intended for socialized housing projects to the NHA.

Sought for comment, the BIR said that this would entail the simplification and reduction of documentary requirements, and that Mr. Dulay would write a subsequent administrative issuance to implement the MoA.

The HUDCC, as the oversight and coordinating housing agency, will regularly submit to the BIR an updated list of government housing projects that are qualified for tax incentives.

The NHA, which is tasked to develop and implement government housing programs, will endorse to the BIR the CTE applications of housing contractors and assist in the evaluation, verification and certification of documentary requirements.

In a statement, HUDCC flagged scarce residential land supply vis-a-vis land demand as a great challenge in providing affordable housing to the poor.

“The challenge that we face now is setting in place a stronger land use policy that is efficiently administered through an integrated land and ISF information system,” Ms. Robredo said.

“This will be complemented by providing innovative housing solutions through the Key Shelter Agencies (KSAs) and Public-Private Partnerships to address opportunity gaps facing the homeless and low-income families.” — Lucia Edna P. de Guzman

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