NON-RESIDENT FOREIGN CORPORATION- DIVIDENDS
Sec 24 (b) (1) of the NIRC states that an ordinary 35% tax rate will be applied to dividend remittances to non-resident corporate stockholders of a Philippine corporation. This rate goes down to 15% ONLY IF the country of domicile of the foreign stockholder corporation “shall allow” such foreign corporation a tax credit for “taxes deemed paid in the Philippines,” applicable against the tax payable to the domiciliary country by the foreign stockholder corporation. However, such tax credit for “taxes deemed paid in the Philippines” MUST, as a minimum, reach an amount equivalent to 20 percentage points
Procter and Gamble Philippines declared dividends payable to its parent company and sole stockholder, P&G USA. Such dividends amounted to Php 24.1M. P&G Phil paid a 35% dividend withholding tax to the BIR which amounted to Php 8.3M It subsequently filed a claim with the Commissioner of Internal Revenue for a refund or tax credit, claiming that pursuant to Section 24(b)(1) of the National Internal Revenue Code, as amended by Presidential Decree No. 369, the applicable rate of withholding tax on the dividends remitted was only 15%.
Whether or not P&G Philippines is entitled to the refund or tax credit.
YES. P&G Philippines is entitled.
Sec 24 (b) (1) of the NIRC states that an ordinary 35% tax rate will be applied to dividend remittances to non-resident corporate stockholders of a Philippine corporation. This rate goes down to 15% ONLY IF he country of domicile of the foreign stockholder corporation “shall allow” such foreign corporation a tax credit for “taxes deemed paid in the Philippines,” applicable against the tax payable to the domiciliary country by the foreign stockholder corporation. However, such tax credit for “taxes deemed paid in the Philippines” MUST, as a minimum, reach an amount equivalent to 20 percentage points which represents the difference between the regular 35% dividend tax rate and the reduced 15% tax rate. Thus, the test is if USA “shall allow” P&G USA a tax credit for ”taxes deemed paid in the Philippines” applicable against the US taxes of P&G USA, and such tax credit must reach at least 20 percentage points. Requirements were met.
a) Deemed paid requirement: US Internal Revenue Code, Sec 902: a domestic corporation (owning 10% of remitting foreign corporation) shall be deemed to have paid a proportionate extent of taxes paid by such foreign corporation upon its remittance of dividends to domestic corporation.
b) 20 percentage points requirement: (computation is as follows)
P 100.00 -- corporate income earned by P&G Phils
x 35% -- Philippine income tax rate
P 35.00 -- paid by P&G Phil as corporate income tax
65. 00 -- available for remittance
P 65. 00
x 35% -- Regular Philippine dividend tax rate
P 22.75 -- regular dividend tax
x 15% -- Reduced dividend tax rate
P 9.75 -- reduced dividend tax
P 65.00 -- dividends remittable
- 9.75 -- dividend tax withheld at reduced rate
P 55.25 -- dividends actually remitted to P&G USA
remitted by P&G Phil = P 55.25
---------------------------------- ------------- x P35 = P29.75
Amount of accumulated P 65.00
P35 is the income tax paid.
P29.75 is the tax credit allowed by Sec 902 of US Tax Code for Phil corporate income tax ‘deemed paid’ by the parent company. Since P29.75 is much higher than P13, Sec 902 US Tax Code complies with the requirements of sec 24 NIRC. (I did not understand why these were divided and multiplied. Point is, requirements were met)
Reason behind the law:
Since the US Congress desires to avoid or reduce double taxation of the same income stream, it allows a tax credit of both (i) the Philippine dividend tax actually withheld, and (ii) the tax credit for the Philippine corporate income tax actually paid by P&G Philippines but “deemed paid” by P&G USA.
Moreover, under the Philippines-United States Convention “With Respect to Taxes on Income,” the Philippines, by treaty commitment, reduced the regular rate of dividend tax to a maximum of 20% of he gross amount of dividends paid to US parent corporations, and established a treaty obligation on the part of the United States that it “shall allow” to a US parent corporation receiving dividends from its Philippine subsidiary “a [tax] credit for the appropriate amount of taxes paid or accrued to the Philippines by the Philippine [subsidiary].
The NIRC does not require that the US tax law deem the parent corporation to have paid the 20 percentage points of dividend tax waived by the Philippines. It only requires that the US “shall allow” P&G-USA a “deemed paid” tax credit in an amount equivalent to the 20 percentage points waived by the Philippines. Section 24(b)(1) does not create a tax exemption nor does it provide a tax credit; it is a provision which specifies when a particular (reduced) tax rate is legally applicable.
Section 24(b)(1) of the NIRC seeks to promote the in-flow of foreign equity investment in the Philippines by reducing the tax cost of earning profits here and thereby increasing the net dividends remittable to the investor. The foreign investor, however, would not benefit from the reduction of the Philippine dividend tax rate unless its home country gives it some relief from double taxation by allowing the investor additional tax credits which would be applicable against the tax payable to such home country. Accordingly Section 24(b)(1) of the NIRC requires the home or domiciliary country to give the investor corporation a “deemed paid” tax credit at least equal in amount to the 20 percentage points of dividend tax foregone by the Philippines, in the assumption that a positive incentive effect would thereby be felt by the investor.