The Philippines Department of Finance (DoF) collected Php6.42 billion (US$126 million) in taxes from Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) and their service providers in 2019, the majority coming from a crackdown on companies found to be withholding taxes.
According to figures released by the government this week, tax collection increased from Php2.38 billion (US$46.8 million) in 2018 and included Php5.14 billion (US$101 million) from withholding taxes. Another Php644.1 million came from income taxes, Php91.1 million from value added tax and percentage tax collections, Php81.1 million from documentary stamp taxes and PHP469.13 million from other taxes.
There were also 170 notices issued to POGOs found to be withholding taxes worth Php27.35 billion, with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) temporarily halting the operations of four POGO service providers for failing to pay.
However, the BIR’s chief revenue officer Remedios Advincula Jr said this week that delinquent POGOs and service providers were increasingly paying their dues.
“They are complying. Those who have been notified are going to the office to pay the right taxes,” Advincula said. “Actually, some have already complied and paid their taxes so our tax collections from POGOs improved.”
Advincula added that the BIR is scheduled to launch another operation against delinquent POGOs but refrained from offering any further details.
As of the latest count there are 60 licensed POGOs operating in the Philippines under which are 218 service providers employing 108,914 foreign workers.