Exemptions from Documentary Stamp Tax in Philippines

By: Tax and Accounting Center Philippines

Documentary stamp tax in the Philippines is imposed upon documents, instruments, loan agreements and papers, and upon acceptances, assignments, sales and transfers of the obligation, right or property incident thereto, and shall be paid by the person making, signing, issuing, accepting, or transferring the same wherever the document is made, signed, issued, accepted or transferred when the obligation or right arises from Philippine sources or the property is situated in the Philippines, and at the same time such act is done or transaction had. Whenever one party to the taxable document enjoys exemption from the tax herein imposed, the other party thereto who is not exempt shall be the one directly liable for the tax.

However, out of the specific transactions and documents subject to documentary stamp tax in the Philippines, the tax rules in the Philippines provides for some exemptions. Under Section 199 of the Tax Code, as amended, the following instruments, documents and papers shall be exempt from the documentary stamp tax:

(a)          Policies of insurance or annuities made or granted by a fraternal or beneficiary society, order, association or cooperative company, operated on the lodge system or local cooperation plan and organized and conducted solely by the members thereof for the exclusive benefit of each member and not for profit.

(b)          Certificates of oaths administered to any government official in his official capacity or of acknowledgment by any government official in the performance of his official duties, written appearance in any court by any government official, in his official capacity; certificates of the administration of oaths to any person as to the authenticity of any paper required to be filed in court by any person or party thereto, whether the proceedings be civil or criminal; papers and documents filed in courts by or for the national, provincial, city or municipal governments; affidavits of poor persons for the purpose of proving poverty; statements and other compulsory information required of persons or corporations by the rules and regulations of the national, provincial, city or municipal governments exclusively for statistical purposes and which are wholly for the use of the bureau or office in which they are filed, and not at the instance or for the use or benefit of the person filing them; certified copies and other certificates placed upon documents, instruments and papers for the national, provincial, city or municipal governments, made at the instance and for the sole use of some other branch of the national, provincial, city or municipal governments; and certificates of the assessed value of lands, not exceeding Two hundred pesos (P200) in value assessed, furnished by the provincial, city or municipal Treasurer to applicants for registration of title to land.

(c)           Borrowing and lending of securities executed under the Securities Borrowing and Lending Program of a registered exchange, or in accordance with regulations prescribed by the appropriate regulatory authority: Provided, however, That any borrowing or lending of securities agreement as contemplated hereof shall be duly covered by a master securities borrowing and lending agreement acceptable to the appropriate regulatory authority, and which agreement is duly registered and approved by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

(d)          Loan agreements or promissory notes, the aggregate of which does not exceed Two hundred fifty thousand pesos (P250,000), or any such amount as may be determined by the Secretary of Finance, executed by an individual for his purchase on instalment for his personal use or that of his family and not for business or resale, barter or hire of a house, lot, motor vehicle, appliance or furniture:

(e)          Sale, barter or exchange of shares of stock listed and traded through the local stock exchange.

(f)          Assignment or transfer of any mortgage, lease or policy of insurance, or the renewal or continuance of any agreement, contract, charter, or any evidence of obligation or indebtedness, if there is no change in the maturity date or remaining period of coverage from that of the original instrument.

(g)          Fixed income and other securities traded in the secondary market or through an exchange.

(h)          Derivatives: Provided, That for purposes of this exemption, repurchase agreements and reverse repurchase agreements shall be treated similarly as derivatives.

(i)            Interbranch or interdepartmental advances within the same legal entity.

(j)           All forbearance arising from sales or service contracts including credit card and trade receivables executed by the seller or service provider itself.

(k)          Bank deposit accounts without a fixed term or maturity.

(l)            All contracts, deeds, documents and transactions related to the conduct of business of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

(m)         Transfer of property pursuant to Section 40(c)(2) of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, as amended.

(n)          Interbank call loans with maturity of not more than seven (7) days to cover deficiency in reserves against deposit liabilities, including those between or among banks and quasi-banks.

In short, the above transactions falls under those taxable by nature, but by express provision of the rules, they are exempted from documentary stamp tax in the Philippines.


Disclaimer: This article is for general conceptual guidance only and is not a substitute for an expert opinion. Please consult your preferred tax and/or legal consultant for the specific details applicable to your circumstances. For comments, you may please send mail at info@taxacctgcenter.org.


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