Pogo tech firm reopens after partial payment of tax debt
After its temporary closure last week, Philippine offshore gaming operator (Pogo) service provider Altech Innovations Business Outsourcing is back in business.
Altech paid an initial P8.2 million of its tax debts to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
It also promised to pay in 30 days the balance of P37 million in its P45 million unpaid tax, according to Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III on Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Altech resumed operations on Tuesday following its partial payment to the BIR on Monday, Oct. 21, according to Arnel Guballa, deputy BIR chief, in a report to Dominguez.
The BIR said Altech had failed to remit personal income taxes of its 390, mainly Chinese workers, amounting to P45 million.
Guballa said the BIR was updating records because the Chinese workers of Pogos “have this ‘come and go’ scheme that’s why you can’t really determine their tax liabilities.”
He said this was discovered from data from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor), Bureau of Immigration and Department of Labor.
In the case of Altech, Guballa said the firm claimed it operated its Pasay City branch for just three to four months in 2018 so its taxes should be commensurate to this period. Guballa said the BIR was trying to check this with BI, Dole and Pagcor.
He said the BIR’s priority was to collect income taxes from Altech workers. After that, the BIR would examine the company’s unpaid value-added tax, he added.
“We can’t do all these things at the same time considering our limited manpower,” said Guballa.
Examining VAT payments or nonpayment was a “tedious process,” he said./TSB
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