BIR expects Pogos’ full compliance with tax rule
Given its tighter watch over Philippine offshore gaming operators (Pogo) to ensure that their foreign— mostly Chinese —workers pay correct income taxes, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) expects all firms to comply with the rule during this month’s tax payment deadline.
Internal Revenue Deputy Commissioner Arnel Guballa said more than 240 Pogos were expected to remit their employees’ withholding taxes by Aug. 10.
In July, only six firms remitted some P200 million in personal income taxes out of the 248 Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor)-licensed service providers.
Guballa said the 242 others that had yet to remit the taxes withheld from their workers would do so this month.
Pogos must withhold the monthly 25-percent personal income tax due from all employees—including those who do not yet have tax identification numbers (TINs), and remit the taxes withheld to the BIR when their workers get registered with the agency.
According to industry insiders, all of the Pagcor-licensed Pogo service operators already committed to remit the withheld personal income taxes as one of the largest companies urged the sector to comply with the Department of Finance’s and the BIR’s directive.
Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III earlier said they would collect P2 billion a month in additional tax revenue once all Pogo workers pay their correct taxes.
But the BIR had been having difficulty in issuing TINs amid a surge in the number of applications from foreign Pogo workers.
Last month, the BIR issued just 10,000 TINs to previously unregistered Pogo workers; however, the government had estimated up to 130,000 foreign employees in the sector who were not paying taxes.
Also, an interagency joint memorandum circular issued last month mandated all incoming foreign workers to first secure visas, working permits and TINs before they start working.
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