Government plans 60 billion pesos in POGO taxes in 2 years
THE GOVERNMENT aims to collect around 60 billion pesos in new taxes from Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs) and their employees in the first two years of implementation, according to a senator.
On the second day of questioning of Senate Bill 2232 or the bill taxing the POGO industry, Senator Juliana Pilar S. Cayetano said the government expects to generate $ 28.7 billion of pesos in revenue this year and 32 billion pesos in 2022 from the 5% stake. on POGOs, and the final 25% withholding tax on its employees.
Ms Cayetano said the amount did not include other POGO taxes under the bill.
President Rodrigo R. Duterte certified the bill as urgent on Monday. This is one of the measures identified by the Advisory Council on Legislative and Executive Development as a priority measure to be adopted before the sine die adjournment of Congress on June 4.
Under the bill to amend the National Internal Revenue Code, all offshore gaming licensees, whether based in the Philippines or overseas but are considered to be doing business in the country, will be required to pay a fee. 5% gaming tax on gross gaming revenues or their gaming operations. Gaming tax will replace all taxes.
Foreigners employed by POGOs and service providers will be subject to a final withholding tax rate of 25%.
The bill also provided that the final minimum withholding tax for any taxable month of foreigners employed by offshore gambling operators and service providers should not be less than 12,500p.
Non-gaming income of offshore gaming licensees based in the Philippines is also subject to 25% income tax.
Non-gaming income attributed to gaming offerings or facilities in the Philippines of offshore licensees based abroad is subject to income tax equivalent to 25% of annual gross income.
Based on data from Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR),
Ms Cayetano said there were 38 offshore gaming operators based in the Philippines and overseas, 24 local gaming agents and 136 service providers as of March 2021.
On the other hand, data from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) showed that there were 43 offshore gambling operators based in the Philippines and overseas, 24 local gambling agents and 232 service providers, said the senator.
No explanation was given for the discrepancy in the data, Ms. Cayetano said, adding that she would require agencies to share information more effectively.
In her May 25 sponsorship speech, Ms. Cayetano said that POGO collections in 2020 amounted to 7.18 billion pesos, 11.71 percent more than the 6.42 billion pesos collected in 2019, citing BIR data.
Some POGOs have left the country due to the new tax requirements, PAGCOR said in June 2020. – Vann Marlo M. Villegas