The Philippines’ Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is adding 2,000 foreign gaming workers employed in the Clark and Subic economic zones to its crackdown on missing income tax payments within the industry.
The move follows the recent establishment of a new interagency task force to tackle illegal online gambling activities in the Philippines, including fast-tracking the completion of a list of foreign nationals employed by Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGOs).
According to the BIR, there are more than 130,000 unregistered Chinese nationals working for POGO operations and therefore not paying income tax.
As reported by local media, Internal Revenue Deputy Commissioner Arnel Guballa has now expanded the Bureau’s investigation to include the Clark and Subic workers.
“They are consultants, engineers, designers, IT … our estimates showed that there are around 2,000 but what we are really prioritizing are the POGOs,” The Inquirer reported Guballa as stating.
“We are looking for all of them. Although they are employed in online gaming, what we are checking is if they are paying their taxes.”
The BIR is due to finalize a complete list of POGO workers by the end of April.
Philippines Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III claimed last month that the Philippines government is missing out on more than Php3 billion (US$57.5 million) per month in tax revenue from foreign workers working within POGO.