House bill seeks to make boxing prizes tax-free
MANILA, Philippines – Boxing champion Manny Pacquiao and other boxers may find relief from their tax woes once this bill making boxing prizes tax-free becomes a law.
Northern Samar Representative Emil Ong filed House Bill 5234 titled “Filipino Boxers’ Benefits and Protection Act,” which aims to make boxers’ prizes and money benefits tax-exempt.
“The proposal is in line with the constitutional provision pertaining to the promotion of sports and aims to enable Filipino boxers enjoy their winnings by making these tax-exempt,” Ong said.
“The tax exemption is an incentive that must be given and enjoyed by our boxers, just like American boxers,” he added.
Ong said boxers deserve this incentive because they only earn their income on a per fight basis.
“As distinguished from other taxpayers, Filipino boxers only enjoy the prize of their winnings for a limited period of time. Hence, the remainder of their income from winnings after taxes is what is left for a lifetime support for the boxer and his family,” he said.
Ong also said hosting boxing events brings income to the locals and the government.
“The economic benefit the boxers bring to the host country and the honor they bring home when they win make boxing a lucrative sports competition,” he said.
The bill, pending before the ways and means committee, states that all Filipino boxers should be exempt from paying taxes out of the income derived from prizes and money benefits from winnings in boxing competition.
The tax exemption, however, does not include income from commercial advertisements or endorsements from products, the bill said.
The bill also assigns the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to promulgate the rules and regulation for the effective implementation of the bill once it is enacted into law.
The bill was filed amid the tax woes of welterweight champion Pacquiao, who was accused by the BIR of allegedly failing to pay over P2.2 billion in tax from his winnings in 2008 and 2009.