Legarda welcomes PHL removal from France’s blacklist

MANILA, (PNA) – Senator Loren Legarda on Sunday welcomed the removal of the Philippines from French government’s blacklist of non-cooperative countries for their tax policies.

”This development is reflective of the Philippine government’s efforts to improve fiscal integrity through sound policies, including the tax treaty with the French government,” Legarda said.

Legarda, former chair of the Senate committee on foreign relations, said the Senate adopted the protocol amending the agreement between the Philippine government and the French Republic for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income last 15th Congress.

“The revised agreement broadens the scope of the exchange of information requests that may be made. It now allows the exchange of information related to tax administration, including bank information,” said Legarda.

The Senator explained that in the previous PH-France treaty, which took effect on January 1, 1978, Article 26 was not yet aligned with the text of the Exchange of Information provisions of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Model Tax Convention, which is why the Philippines had been listed as one of the non-cooperative countries and territories (NCCTs).

French nationals are dissuaded from transacting with NCCTs because of the higher tax rates being imposed on them, she further explained.

“While globalization brought about an increase in international trade, it also posed greater challenges to the effective enforcement of tax laws. This is what we want to address when we adopted the new PH-France Tax Treaty,” she stressed.

Legarda said the benefits of tax treaties are intended to permit the contracting states to better enforce their domestic laws so as to reduce tax evasion.

”They likewise promote technology transfer, and international academic, cultural and sports exchanges between the Contracting States,” Legarda said.