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Exactly when will new car taxation take effect?

A detailed timetable has been sent to industry players

Sellers of luxury cars have been encouraging their customers to get a new vehicle now, before the new tax reform takes effect. PHOTO FROM MERCEDES-BENZ

For many months now, automotive distributors and dealers have been anticipating the implementation of the new Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act—when it gets signed, of course—as this will greatly impact the way motor vehicles are priced in our market. The intent on the part of those who oversee our national coffers is to raise more taxes so that more infrastructure projects may be funded.

One way of doing that is adjusting (read: increasing) the excise tax levied upon automobiles. It is widely expected that car prices—particularly those of luxury vehicles—will be higher starting in 2018. A number of car shoppers have already advanced their planned purchases to avoid the presumed pricing surge next year.

But when exactly will the controversial tax reform be implemented? The question has been emphatically answered by a memo sent to all concerned—including members of the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines—which states that government’s “target implementation is still January 1, 2018.” Here is the timetable for the bicameral committee conference, the signing and publication of the TRAIN Act, and the issuance and publication of the implementing rules and regulations:

The memo adds: “Per BIR, auto companies should assume January 1, 2018, as the effectivity date.”

In essence, the memo was sent “for the purposes of preparing for administrative compliance.”

So there. Unless there’s a snag in the coming weeks, it’s safe to say car prices will indeed be adjusted by the start of 2018. The authorities seem very serious about this. Consider yourself informed.

Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the founder and editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist since July 1995. He became one by serendipity, walking into the office of a small publishing company and applying for a position he had no idea was for a local car magazine. God has watched over him throughout his humble journey. He writes the ‘Spoiler’ column.