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VAT-free days for school items,
apparel pushed by lawmakers

Two lawmakers have proposed to make school items and school apparel exempt from value-added tax during weekends in the month of May to give families a break on spending in preparation for the opening of the school year, a press release from Congress said.

Buhay Party-list Reps. Irwin Tieng and Mariano Michael Velarde said VAT-free weekends for these school items will help taxpayers save money and enable retailers to lure more customers. The proposal under House Bill 5611 provides that the tax holiday shall start at 12:01 a.m. on the first Friday of May and end at 11:59 p.m. on the first Sunday of May, the press release said.

It said school supplies that shall be VAT-free range from binders and crayons to instructional materials. School apparel, on the other hand, shall include items primarily worn for an educational institution which include school clothing material, ready-made uniforms and accessories, school shoes, and school P.E. and sports kits, the press release said.

Velarde said their proposal will enable the government to give back to the people, especially those with children. The VAT-free weekend shall only be imposed on covered items with a purchase price of not more than P1,000 each. The maximum total amount of purchases for each receipt shall not exceed P10,000 he said.

The bill provides that retailers that back-date sales occurring after Sunday midnight or forward-date sales that occurred before Friday to make items qualify for the VAT-free weekend shall face tax evasion penalties in addition to paying a fine of P20,000 to P100,000 or facing imprisonment of one month to one year, or both at the discretion of the court, the press release said.

The VAT erroneously collected by a retailer shall be remitted to the Bureau of Internal Revenue based on the bill, it added.*

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