Comelec to candidates: Declare excess contributions to BIR

THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Friday, June 14, advised candidates with excess campaign contributions to declare them before the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

Excess contributions refer to "any unexpended balance from any contribution to candidate or party". Under Comelec Resolution No. 9991 or the Omnibus Rules and Regulations Governing Campaign Finance and Disclosure, this is subject to income tax.

BIR Regulation No. 7-2011 also provides that excess campaign contributions shall be considered as subject to income tax and should therefore be included in the candidate's taxable income as stated in his/her income tax return filed for the said taxable year.

In an interview a day after the deadline for the filing of Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (Soce) for the May 2019 midterm elections, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said it would be better if the candidates will declare as income the excess contributions they received during the campaign period.

"Under the rules, it has tax implications. There is a BIR rule on that matter," said Jimenez.

He, however, said taxable incomes are already outside the control of the poll body regardless of the amount.

"The applicable rule there is BIR's. We are not the ones enforcing it. It has to be the BIR," explained Jimenez.

Meanwhile, as of Thursday's deadline, nine of the 12 senators-elect were able to file their Soce.

The nine are Cynthia Villar, Nancy Binay, Grace Poe, Sonny Angara, Pia Cayetano, Imee Marcos, Bong Revilla, Francis Tolentino, and Christopher Lawrence Go.

Villar and Binay both filed their Soce last Tuesday, while Cayetano submitted hers on Wednesday.

Poe, Revilla, Tolentino, Go, Angara, and Marcos, on the other hand, filed their Soce on Thursday, which was the last day of filing.

Villar's Soce showed that she spent P135.52 million during the campaign period, all of which came from personal funds. She had P0 contributions received.

Poe, meanwhile, spent a total of P156.43 million out of a total contribution of P156.45 million.

Go had the biggest expenditure at P161.41 million after receiving total contributions of P162.03 million.

The Soce of Cayetano showed that she received a total contribution of P75.2 million, but spent only P73.71 million.

Angara received a total contribution of P153.34 million and spent P153.65 million.

Marcos, meanwhile, received a total contribution of P137.56 million while her expenses totaled P132.14 million.

Tolentino's Soce showed that he recieved a total contribution of P112.9 million, but spent P159.16 million.

Revilla, meanwhile, received a total contribution of P115.57 million but spent P121.95 million.

Binay had a total contribution of P59.47 million and spent only P56.78 million.

Senators-elect Ronald dela Rosa and Manuel Lapid as well as Senator Aquilino Pimentel III have yet to submit their Soce as of Friday. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)


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