POGOs, service providers must pay taxes: Dominguez

BUSINESS
May 12, 2020

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FINANCE Secretary Carlos Dominguez III has reiterated that Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGO) and their service providers must pay their 2019 tax liabilities before they are allowed to operate. 
    Aside from paying the POGO franchise tax, Dominguez said: “both service providers and licensees must also remit to the BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue) all current 2020 withholding tax liabilities.”
    In a Viber message to journalists Thursday, he said these businesses “must also execute an understanding to pay the BIR all their arrears.”
    “Once these are complied with, the BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue) will issue a tax clearance to enable them to operate,” he added.
    POGO operations were halted along with most businesses after Metro Manila was placed under community quarantine last March 15, which was expanded to an enhanced community quarantine for mainland Luzon on March 17 to arrest the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
    The government is training its eyes on POGOs and their service providers after some have been found to be operating illegally.
    The sector is regulated by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor), which forecasts the government’s gaming-related revenues from this sector to exceed the P75.54 billion collected last year.
    BIR Deputy Commissioner Arnel Guballa earlier said there are about 60 POGO licensees to date that are “mostly registered with Pagcor.” (PNA)

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