The COVID-19 crisis is unprecedented. It is a crisis like no other. As a quick response, Congress enacted RA No. 11469 otherwise known as Bayanihan to Heal As One Act to provide emergency tax reliefs for the most vulnerable sectors. However, these kinds of assistance do not increase the productive capacity of the economy, hence, are not expected to increase economic growth in the long run but at best made only to minimize the economic contraction or flatten the socioeconomic cost curve.
On the other hand, structural tax reforms are those that promote more efficient resource allocation and potential long-term economic growth since they broaden the tax bases and reduce tax rates which reduce distortions and deadweight losses. Note that before COVID-19 raised unprecedented threats to the country’s public healthcare system and the entire economy, there are already existing House-approved tax policy measures that are currently undergoing deliberation at the Senate.
This paper intends to contribute to public discussion by examining tax policy options, at different phases of the pandemic from the virus outbreak up to post-pandemic period, drawn from a review of international and local economic recovery programs. Specifically, the paper delves on differentiating between temporary tax reliefs and structural reforms (or those policy measures that would affect the economy in the short and long run).