Tax-exempt status

Manila, Philippines -- The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) withdrew the tax exemption privileges granted to the National Housing Authority (NHA) on selected transactions, it was learned yesterday.

BIR Commissioner Kim S. Jacinto-Henares said the tax exemption status of the NHA is still retained if the lots it sold are considered part of the socialized housing project for the poor and homeless. In signing the new Revenue Memorandum Order No. 28-2013, the BIR chief declared that commercial lots sold by the NHA are now subject to income, capital gains and documentary stamp taxes.

She explained that sale of commercial lots to individuals and entities although classified by the NHA as low-cost housing project ''is outside the definition of socialized housing which is exempt from taxation.''

Under the Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992, the BIR chief said socialized housing refers to housing projects for the underprivileged and homeless citizens. She said the NHA being the primary government agency in charge of housing shall be exempted from the payment of any fees or charges by both national and local governments including income and realty taxes.