BPO firms allowed to keep WFH option
Business process outsourcing firms can keep their tax perks and also continue with the work-from-home (WFH) option as they transfer their registration from the Philippine Economic Zone Authority to the Board of Investments, according to Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno.
Diokno said on Thursday (Sept 15) that the long-standing issue on the WFH arrangement for the Information Technology and Business Process Management (IT-BPM) sector had been resolved at the meeting of the Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB) on Sept. 14.
“The FIRB met yesterday, and we decided that there will be a smooth transition of benefits from Peza to BOI, so the problem is solved,” said Diokno, who is also FIRB chair.
“The tax incentives will continue, but they [BPOs] can opt to do it from home,” he added.
Through FIRB Resolution No. 017-22, BPO firms were required to have 70 percent of their workforce work in company premises while 30 percent was allowed to work under a WFH arrangement.
This was set to have expired last Sept. 12, and work must be done fully in company premises from then on, as the COVID-19-prompted state of calamity declared by former President Rodrigo Duterte ended.
Earlier, the FIRB ruled that allowing the WFH arrangement for BPO players that operate inside economic zones was only a temporary measure considering the stringent COVID-19 lockdowns in the previous two years.
Thus, BPO companies would only be able to enjoy their tax incentives if 100 percent of their personnel returned to their physical offices.
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