According to a new law approved by the Philippine Senate, overseas Filipino workers (OFW) who are returning to the country for good will now be allowed to bring home up to Php350,000 maximum worth of personal and household items completely tax-free.
Senator Ralph Recto, author of the Balikbayan Box Law provision in the proposed Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA), said that OFWs who want to bring home furniture, appliances, and other items will surely welcome this new law with gratitude. They can, for example, place their belongings (and other things with sentimental value) to a 20-footer van and they will not be charged for it as long as the amount does not go beyond the approved cost.
Aside from furniture and appliances, the same rule applies for “jewelry, precious stones, and other goods of luxury, personal and household effects including wearing apparel, goods of personal adornment except luxury items, toilet goods, instruments related to one’s profession and analogous personal or household effects, excluding vehicles, watercraft, aircraft and animals,” Recto shared.
When estimating the value of the items, Recto reminded the difference between new and used ones. “The bicam can still raise the amount. Of course, if these are used items, of course assessed values would be lower,” the senator explained.
So how do the OFWs get to avail of this privilege?
Based on the law, the Php350,000 tax exemption is only applicable for OFWs who have lived and worked overseas for 10 years. On the other hand, those who have lived and worked abroad for at least 5 years will be able to enjoy a shipment value of Php250,000.
“This is one of the many outdated regulations CMTA is trying to cure,” Recto commented. In the past, OFWs are only given about Php10,000 worth of personal and household goods.