BIR: No tax exemption on Pia Wurtzbach's prizes [+video]

Amid the preparations for the historic homecoming of Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach, Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) commissioner Kim Henares has reminded the beauty queen of her obligations as a citizen.

Recently, Cagayan de Oro representative Rufus Rodriguez filed a house bill that would exempt Wurtzbach's earnings from taxes for bringing honor to the country and their city.

According to Henares, the beauty queen has to declare all her earnings by the time she arrives on January 23. She said the BIR has no right and authority to give an exemption except for what is provided for in the law which must apply equally to all.

"The peso of Juan is also the peso of Maria," Henares said, noting that equal taxation is clearly stated in the tax revenue code.

The BIR chief also shared that the Philippines has a double taxation treaty with the United States which requires reporting of all prizes won by a Filipino, be it in cash or in kind.

Aside from the crown, here's a list of what Wurtzbach got as Miss Universe according to ABS-CBN News:
  • Year-long salary as Miss Universe
  • Luxury accommodations in a New York City apartment for the duration of her reign, including living expenses
  • One-year scholarship from the New York Film Academy College of Visual Performing Arts
  • One-year supply of haircare products and tools from CHI Haircare
  • A new custom diamond tiara and jewelry designed by D.I.C
  • A shoe wardrobe from Chinese Laundry Shoes
  • Swimwear by Yamamay
  • A year’s worth of skincare products from Image Skincare
  • Personal services including membership to Gravity Fitness @ Le Parker Meridien Hotel and hair services from John Barrett Salon
  • Modeling portfolio by leading fashion photographer Fadil Berisha
  • Dermatology and skincare services provided by Dr. Cheryl Thellman-Karcher
  • Professional health and nutrition consultation by Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD and dental services by Dr. Jan Linhart, D.D.S.
  • Professional representation by The Miss Universe Organization
  • extensive travel representing sponsors and charitable partners
  • access to various New York City events including casting opportunities, movie premiers, screenings, Broadway shows and launch parties; and
  • Personal appearance wardrobe and styling by the official Miss Universe Organization fashion stylist
The following is a video of the interview with BIR commissioner Henares, courtesy of ABS-CBN News. Watch:


Sources: YouTube, ABS-CBN News