Balikbayan Box Worth P150K Tax-Free By Christmas

Beginning December 25, 2016, balikbayan boxes worth P150,000 or below will be exempted from paying taxes.

According to a GMA News report Sunday, the Bureau of Customs and the Department of Finance have signed Customs Administrative Order (CAO) 05-2016, which concerns the consolidated shipment of said boxes.

Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon was quoted as saying that the CAO 05-2016 serves as the implementing rules and regulations on Section 800 (g) of the Customs and Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) that covers balikbayan boxes.

The order includes “sending of balikbayan boxes by Qualified Filipinos While Abroad (QFWA) to their families and relatives, which shall be exempt from the payment of duties and taxes, up to three times and shall not exceed P150,000.00 in a calendar year.”

Balikbayan boxes, however, that are brought in through means other than consolidated shipments shall be covered by a different order.

“This CAO states that only qualified Filipinos abroad may avail of duty and tax free privileges on balikbayan boxes containing personal effects and households goods,” Faeldon added.

By definition, Qualified Filipinos While Abroad are:

1. holders of valid passports issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and certified by Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) or Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) for overseas employment purposes regardless of profession;
2. non-resident Filipinos who have established permanent residency abroad but retained their Filipino citizenship; and,
3. resident Filipino citizens who temporarily stay abroad (may include holders of student visa, investors’ visa, tourist visa, and similar visas which allow them to establish temporary stay abroad).