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QC expects P100M in real property taxes from telcos

Saturday, June 13, 2009 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES [ BusinessWorld Online ]

Quezon City expects to collect more than P100 million worth of real property taxes from telecommunication firms as a result of a Supreme Court ruling that such companies’ real properties are not exempt from the payment of taxes to the city government.

Quezon City Treasurer Victor B. Endriga said in a statement on Friday that his office has already issued statements of tax delinquency to telecommunication firms such as Globe Telecom, Inc. and Smart Information Technologies, Inc. asking for the immediate payment of unpaid real property taxes to the city government, as an offshoot of the Supreme Court’s decision.

The high court’s decision dated Dec. 11, 2008, prompted by the petition filed by the Digital Telecommunications Philippines, Inc. (Digitel) against the city government of Batangas to exempt the company from paying the assessed real property taxes, ruled that telecommunication companies are not exempt from settling the taxes for buildings and real properties that they use.

The high court said that under Section 5 of Republic Act 7678 which grants Digitel the franchise to install and maintain telecommunications operations in the Philippines, the firm shall be liable to pay taxes on its buildings and real estate.

The high court also said that the same provision appears in the legislative franchises of other telecommunication firms such as Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., Smart and Globe.

The city’s real property tax collection for 2008 was P1.18 billion. — Louella D. Desiderio


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