Tolentino wants tax deductions for employees working from home

Aika Rey
Senator Francis Tolentino wants employees to receive tax deductions for the additional electricity consumption under the work-from-home scheme, or for employers to cover for the bill increase

DEDUCTIONS. Senator Francis Tolentino proposes tax deductions for employees working from home. Photo by Henzberg Austria/Senate PRIB

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Francis Tolentino said that employees who were working from home should be taxed less due to increased electricity consumption.

In a media interview on Tuesday, July 7, Tolentino said that he would file a bill which would amend Republic Act 8524 or the National Internal Revenue Code to allow tax deductions on the gross income tax of employees under a work-from-home scheme.

The senator said he wanted to shift the burden from employees to those who should be paying for electricity costs.

“Ang itinaas na porsyento ng electric bill ay puwedeng ibawas sa doon sa bill ng empleyado at bigyan siya ng kauukulang tax deduction dahil di naman ‘nya kagustuhang magtrabaho sa bahay. Naging option lang because of COVID-19,” Tolentino said.

(The percentage increase in the electricity bill could be deducted from the bill of the employee and give the appropriate tax deduction because it’s not their decision to work from home. It only became an option because of COVID-19.)

Tolentino said that he already had a draft bill. He asked Senator Sherwin Gatchalian to be a co-author and review the proposed measure.

How would the proposed deductions be implemented? Tolentino said that he was looking at 3 options so far:

  • Employees to attach a form in his or her income tax return indicating how much the deduction should be;
  • Employers to compute how much deductions should be given to employees at the end of the tax year; or
  • Employers to give a fixed amount to employees every month to subsidize the latter’s electricity expenses.

On the monthly subsidy proposal, Tolentino said: “Ibigay na lang ng employers ‘yon sa employee nila. At ‘yon naman ay puwedeng i-claim as business expense at deductible sa kanila kasi nakatipid sila.”

(The employers should just give a subsidy to their employees. They can just claim that as business expense which would be deducted from them because they saved electricity costs.)

Tolentino first raised this idea during a July 6 Senate energy hearing on the complaints about the sudden spike in electricity bills.

The senator said that electricity consumption would further increase when distance learning is implemented. –

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Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at