#AskTheTaxWhiz: Miss Universe, confidently beautiful and tax-exempt?

(UPDATED) Will winners in the Miss Universe 2016 pageant be required to pay taxes? How about the pageant's organizers? The Tax Whiz fills us in.

TOP 3. (L-R) Miss Colombia, Miss France, and Miss Haiti are the Top 3 in the Miss Universe 2016 pageant. Miss France was crowned Miss Universe 2016. Screenshot from ETC

1. Will Miss Universe winners pay taxes to the Philippine government? How much will be the tax due? 

Yes. Miss Universe winners will pay taxes on their winnings. Prizes exceeding P10,000, cash or in kind, are subject to 20% final tax. 

2. Can President Rodrigo Duterte exempt Miss Universe winners from taxes? Is it true that President Ferdinand Marcos exempted Miss Universe winners and participants in 1974?

No. Under Article VI Sec. 28 of the 1987 Constitution, only Congress has the authority to pass any law granting tax exemption. (Editor’s note: We earlier replied yes to the first question. We regret the error)

Yes. President Marcos issued PD 486 on June 19, 1974 exempting from tax the prizes of Miss Universe contestants and certain equipment and facilities used in connection with the Miss Universe pageant held here. However, it should be noted that Congress, then named Batasang Pambansa, was under his dictatorial control at the time.

3. In an interview, Chavit Singson said he paid a $1-million non-refundable fee to the Miss Universe Organization and $6 million as payment for the rights to hold the pageant in the Philippines. He claims to earn around P120 million monthly or at least P1.44 billion a year to be able to afford the costs of hosting the pageant in the Philippines. Is he a top taxpayer? Will he be paying taxes as a result of organizing the pageant?

No, he’s not considered a top taxpayer. But as he said in the interview, he has a lot of companies and some corporations are not under his name.

Yes, if he makes profit from organizing Miss Universe, it will be subject to regular corporate income tax, and sales of tickets and other products related to the pageant are subject to 12% VAT. – Rappler.com

Got a question about taxes? #AskTheTaxWhiz! Tweet @rapplerdotcom or email us at business@rappler.com.

Mon Abrea, popularly known as the Philippine Tax Whiz, is one of the 2016 Outstanding Persons of the World, a Move Awards 2016 Digital Mover, one of the 2015 The Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines (TOYM), an Asia CEO Young Leader of the Year, and founder of the Abrea Consulting Group and Center for Strategic Reforms of the Philippines (CSR Philippines). He currently serves as Adviser to the Commissioner of Internal Revenue of the Philippine government on tax administration reform in promoting inclusive growth. Follow Mon on Twitter (@askthetaxwhiz) or visit his Facebook page. You may also email him at consult@acg.ph.

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