Miss Universe 2015 Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach is a step closer to enjoying her prizes tax-free from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) after Congress passed a bill that sought tax exemption on her earnings and perks from the prestigious pageant.
The House Ways and Means committee on Tuesday approved House Bill 6367 filed in recognition of Pia's achievement, which ended the country’s 42-year title drought, GMA News reported.
The Authors of the Bill, brothers Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez and Abante Mindanao party-list Rep. Maximo Rodriguez Jr. earlier said Pia deserves to at least get a break from taxes.
"In view of the tremendous achievement of Kagay-ayon Ms. Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach and for bringing pride and honor to the Philippines by winning the 2015 Miss Universe pageant, it is only right that all her winnings and prizes be exempt from any form of taxes and duties," they said.
Meanwhile, BIR lawyer Nina Asuncion clarified that Pia will be exempt from Philippine taxes as long as she shows supporting documents that she already paid US taxes for her winnings.
"The US may have already taxed Pia Wurtzbach on the prizes she received there. If she wants the tax she paid there credited in the Philippines, she has to submit the documents as proof of the same," she said.
House Bill 6367 covers Pia's tax exemptions including her year-long salary as reigning Miss Universe and accommodations at the Miss Universe headquarters in New York City to name a few.
Earlier, BIR Commissioner Kim Henares herself reminded the 26-year-old beauty queen to compute for and pay the right taxes when she returns to the country.