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BIR: Almost all POGOs have unpaid taxes

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Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs) were warned by the Bureau of Internal Revenues (BIR) as numerous POGOs have failed to comply with the government’s new rules on tax payments.

Internal Revenue Commissioner Caesar Dulay stated that few POGOs and their service providers have complied with the new rules of tax regulations that were issued last May 7.

BIR Deputy Commissioner Arnel Guballa, also head of the agency’s task force on POGOs, warned the gaming operators that the consequence for their non-compliance to the new regulations will result in a denial of the clearance for the continuation of operations.

“Failure to comply will result in the denial of the issuance of a BIR clearance for resumption of operations,” said the BIR Deputy Commissioner.

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Also, “submission of falsified or fraudulent documents shall result in the denial” of the mandatory BIR tax clearance, Guballa added.

When asked by reporters, Revenue Commissioner Dulay stated that almost all of the POGOs are yet to settle their mandatory tax payments.

The Department of Finance (DOF) on Saturday reiterated that the BIR was “making sure that POGOs and their respective service providers are properly registered and will pay the correct amount of income taxes and franchise fees to the government before they are allowed to resume operations during the quarantine period.”

The DOF was referring to the BIR’s Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 46-2020 signed on May 7 by Dulay. The BIR’s memorandum contains specific guidelines and requirements on how POGO license holders, service providers, can obtain the clearance to resume operations.

“According to the set of guidelines and requirements issued by the BIR, all POGO licensees or operators should first show proof that they have already paid their 2019 franchise taxes, their withholding taxes due for the months of January to April this year, as well as the first-quarter payments of their 2020 franchise tax, before they would be given tax clearances allowing them to resume operations,” DOF said.

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