Balikbayan box tax suspension: relief for Filipinos

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Balikbayan box tax relief for overseas Filipinos

 

DUBAI – Hundreds of thousands of Filipinos overseas are expected to benefit from a recent move of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) suspending the balikbayan tax measure, and effectively increasing the number of shipments per person.

BOC Commissioner Isidro Lapena has suspended the requirements for balikbayan box senders to fill up an information sheet detailing the items they are sending, as well as include a photocopy of their passport and the receipts of new goods included in their balikbayan box.

The suspension was announced on Thursday and will be implemented until March 31, 2018.

Senator Ralph Recto and Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano on Saturday praised the move.

Recto said “common sense won” when the BOC suspended its requirement for balikbayan box senders to include a list of contents on the box, adding that it might tempt unscrupulous handlers and invite thieves.

“If it is itemized, it’s as if you’re saying, ‘Open me, I’m yours,’” he added.

Cayetano said the suspension of the implementation of the duty- and tax-free privileges of consolidated balikbayan boxes “is good news for the hundreds of thousands of overseas Filipinos.”

“We would like to thank the Bureau of Customs and also the Department of Finance for being sensitive to the needs of our kababayans [countrymen]abroad and for listening to their appeals,” he said.

Send balikbayan box thrice per year

Recto also clarified that Overseas Filipino Workers can send home, tax- and duty-free balikbayan box valued not more than P150,000 three times a year.

He said that the previous BOC management “wrongfully read the cap on the privilege as P150,000 a year, when that amount is per shipment, which can be availed of three times annually.” DAJ/Expat Media
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