Tolentino seeks tax incentives for work-from-home employees

Sen. Francis Tolentino on Sunday said tax incentives should be given to companies who allow their employees to work from home to help them cover the cost of electricity and Internet connection.

Sen. Francis “Tol” Tolentino
(Senate of the Philippine FACEBOOK / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

According to Tolentino, he plans to file such measure as he projects the work-from-home scheme to stay for a longer period of time even after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The senator said he believes companies can afford to shoulder P1,000 in cash for each employee who they allow to work from home as long as these are deductible from their business expense.

“Yung ating mga employer – whether private or government –nakatipid din sila, kasi dahil wala nang (gagamit ng) airconditioning sa opisina, wala nang nagco-computer sa opisina (The employers – whether private or government – are able to save costs because in the first place since no one is using airconditioning units, or using computers in their offices anymore),” Tolentino explained in an interview over GMANews TV.

“’Yung trabaho sa opisina, dinala na kasi sa bahay ng workers nila (Their workers have brought their work to their homes),” he said.

Besides, he said, employers would find it difficult if their workers had their electricity disconnected as this will also affect their work performance.

“Ang end result nitong (bill), ‘yung empleyado may karagadagang pera sa bulsa, magagamit din sa ekonomiya, at makaka-dagdag din sa pambayad ng kanilang kuryente, kesa naman maputulan siya ng kuryente (The end result of this measure is to ensure employers will have additional cash they can use to also spruce up the economy and something to add to electricity expenses, instead of experiencing power outage).”

Tolentino also said the bill will cover those who are self-employed as he seeks a bigger incentive for employees who are working from home who wish to deduct their electricity expenses under their net income.

He  said amendments to the revenue code may be necessary or possibly to Republic Act 11165 or the Telecommuting Act, which President Duterte sign into law in 2018.

According to the senator, labor sectors in other countries, like India, are also now discussing proposals for electricity allowances. Companies in Australia, he also noted, have devised a formula for granting cash incentives to employees who are working from home to help cover their electricity expenses.