More tax exemption proposed for taxpayers taking care of their elderly

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Taxpayers who are taking care of their elderly parents may get additional tax exemption under a bill filed in the House of Representatives.

In House Bill (HB) No. 1522, Pampanga 2nd district Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo proposes a P25,000 exemption for each elderly parent cared for by a taxpayer.

"One praiseworthy Filipino value is devotion to family ties. Married children take care of their parents by supporting them during their twilight years as an act of gratitude for all pains and sacrifices," the former president said in a statement on Tuesday.

Current laws allow a tax exemption of P25,000 per dependent child up to four children.

HB 1522 provides that any parent who is at least 60 years old with no means of support can be an additional dependent provided the parent is mainly dependent on and living with the taxpayer.

"It is not surprising to see family members who provide their aging parents a wide array of assistance from medications, adult healthcare and in some cases, medical procedures," Arroyo said.

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Republic Act No. 7432 or the Senior Citizens Act allowed a taxpayer, who is head of the family, to include a senior citizen as a dependent under the National Internal Revenue Code or Republic Act (RA) 8424.

But Arroyo said this was not expressly provided under RA 8424, so the need for new legislation to allow this additional tax exemption.

Arroyo said granting the privilege would mean more financial leeway to meet the nutrition, education, medicines and other basic needs of elderly dependents.

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