Contrary to rumors spreading in social media, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) will not be imposing taxes on donationations meant for typhoon Yolanda victims.

“There's information going around social media that Customs allegedly taxed German donations that arrived via Lufthansa. This is not true. The shipment of German donations which arrived at the Lufthansa hangar via LH 9922 on Nov. 11, 2013 at 0434 AM from Republic of Germany carrying 23071 kilos of relief goods were released within the day, exempted from duties and tax,” Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon posted on Facebook.

I was able to speak to Lufthansa's country manager, Paul Schenk, who also denied the story about Customs. He said they "were very pleased" with how Customs handled their shipment.

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In an article on Inquirer.net, BIR Commissioner Kim Henares said that relief goods for typhoon Yolanda victims are exempted from taxes--as long as they are coursed through the government or accredited foundations.

“Now for the VAT (Value Added Tax), these are VAT exempt but if there’s any VAT, as long as the donation is made to NDRRMC (National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council), it is going to be paid for by government via tax expenditure,” Henares was quoted as saying.

(Screencap courtesy of YouTube)

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