The Philippines senate proposed changes in the country’s tax law that will help the government raise more revenue.
A bill planned to make a way in the revenue laws that will allow the government to gather more taxes from the Philippines Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) has reached Senate plenary on Tuesday, 25th May 2021.
Senator Pia Cayetano mentioned in her sponsorship speech for the Senate Bill. 2232, Act for Taxing Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations, that the changes in the existing revenue law will make additional revenue that can easily exceed the PHP 7.18 billion collect by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) from the Philippines Offshore Gaming Operators lists.
Senator Cayetano commented, “But, considering the proliferation of Philippines Offshore Gaming Operators in the country in recent years, the potential of this industry as a source of revenue for the government could have been much bigger. More than PHP 38 billion could have been collected in the year 2019 alone. ”
Attributing to the lack of external tax provision applicable on the offshore gaming operators that include, gaming operators, gaming agents, and service providers under the NIRC, Cayetano explained:
“It will not only plug the loopholes in our country’s tax code that led to issues of confusion surrounding the operations of Philippines Offshore Gaming Operators, but it will also prevent similar issues in the future, which could gravely undermine our government’s power to impose and collect the right taxes.”
She continues, “By addressing these gaps in our tax system, we can maximize the Philippines Offshore Gaming Operators industry’s potential as a revenue source. ”
As per the proposed bill, all the offshore gaming operators, regardless of whether the operators are from Philippines or foreign-based, are considered doing business in the Philippines.
Cayetano noted, “This gaming tax will be in lieu of all taxes.”
Foreign gambling operators with offshore gambling licenses and service providers will be eligible to pay 25% withholding tax since they are not directly engaged in trade or business in the Philippines territory.
25% final withholding tax will be applicable on the gross income of the offshore service providers and gaming operators, regardless of the type of license, terms, and residency in the Philippines.
The misconception on the monthly salary of offshore operators working in the POGO industry is also mentioned under the bill. The offshore operators have to pay a minimum final withholding tax due of PHP 12,500 for taxable months.