Election Candidates and Political Parties reminded by BIR to submit their SOCE
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) reminds all political bets and parties of the 2019 midterm elections to submit their Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE) to the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and their Revenue District Office (RDO) on or before June 13. COMELEC Spokesman James Jimenez also explained the consequences of failing to submit their SOCE’s on time.
“Failing to do so, especially for local government officials will have problems assuming office, we will consult it with the DILG so that it will entail consequences, they will not be able to assume their elected positions,” he said during a news briefing last May 15.
Revenue Deputy Commissioner for Operations Arnel Guballa states that COMELEC will collect the donor and income taxes from contributions and donations received by candidates and parties as prescribed by Revenue Memorandum Circular (RMC) No. 31-2019.
Guballa also states that the SOCE must include supporting documents such as cash receipts and disbursement books which contains 5% creditable withholding tax on purchases of products and services utilized by the political parties or candidates during the campaign period.
Requirements of RMC No. 31-2019
RMC No. 31-2019 seeks to remind candidates, political parties or party-list groups, and campaign contributors with their tax compliance requirements under RMC No. 38-2018. BIR requires them to update their registration records with the RDO having jurisdiction over the residence address or head/principal office of the area where they ran for candidacy.
Listed below are the tax compliance requirements for submission:
- Application for Registration Updates with the BIR
- Annual Registration Fee and Certificate of Registration
- Registration of Books
- Invoicing Requirement
- Preservation of Accounting Records
- Tax Treatment of Campaign Expenditures
- Tax Treatment of Campaign Contributions
- Income Tax
- Post-Election (Submission of SOCE to COMELEC and RDO)
The RDO will monitor and assist all registered candidates, political parties, and party-list groups with the updating of their registration records. Registration of individuals as candidates will end in 10 days after the deadline of filing for the Quarterly Remittance Return of Creditable Income Taxes Withheld (BIR Form No. 1601EQ).
The Electoral Contributions and Expenditures
Article XI, Section 94 of the Omnibus Election Code defines “contribution” as “a gift, donation, subscription, loan, advance, or deposit of money or anything of value, or a contract, promise, or agreement to contribute, whether or not legally enforceable, made for the purpose of influencing the results of the elections.”
“Expenditure” on the other hand, “includes the payment or delivery of money or anything of value, or a contract, promise, or agreement to make an expenditure, for the purpose of influencing the results of the election.”
Section 107 of the Code also states that every candidate and treasurer of a political party shall file their SOCE in duplicate with the COMELEC and the RDO within 30 days after the electoral polls. However, the candidate or party-list must file a supplemental SOCE of all contribution and expenditures not included in the statement before the election.
Winning candidates and their affiliated political party who fail to submit their SOCE on or before the prescribed deadlines will not assume office following Resolution No. 10505 wherein “no elected candidate shall enter upon the duties of the office until they have filed their SOCE.”