The Philippines Bureau of Internal Revenue has credited a recent crackdown on delinquent Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) for rising tax collection revenues after revising its August numbers upwards.
BIR Deputy Commissioner Arnel S.D. Guballa revealed over the weekend that the amount of income tax paid by POGO workers in August had originally tallied Php1.4 billion but had since increased by Php230 million to Php1.63 billion (US$31.6 million). A further increase is expected in September, with Guballa stating that the recent closure of a POGO for failing to pay its taxes had sent a clear message to service providers.
“Our collection is improving because they know that we’re doing enforcement activity,” he said. “As you know our dialogue with them had lapsed, we sent them notices and they are not complying, so we did the raid.”
Guballa said that POGOs had started coming forward with their tax payments since the closure of Great Empire Gaming and Amusement Corp on 25 September for failing to register with the tax agency. The company was later allowed to re-open after paying its initial fee of Php250 million and committing to pay its remaining tax liabilities within three months.
The Philippines Department of Finance (DoF) last month ordered the BIR to immediately shut down any operators found not to be paying their taxes with assistance from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the Bureau of Immigration (BI) and gaming regulator PAGCOR.