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Tuesday, December 12, 2023

‘Online services should not have 12 percent tax’

Ex-BAYAN Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate on Sunday slammed the plan to impose a 12-percent value-added tax on Netflix, Spotify, Lazada and other providers of online services, saying that ultimately it would be the “consumers who would be carrying this additional burden.”

“We were told to stay home due to COVID but many (establishments) were closed or even taxed, such as the closure of  ABS-CBN, at now there is a plan to tax Netflix, Spotify, Facebook, Google, Cloud, and other online providers,” he said.

“Also, even the claim that it is the foreign company that is being taxed is specious as it is still the consumers who will foot the bill in the end since VAT is a pass-on tax – it would mean higher subscription fees, service charges, and, even prices of online products. That is why this tax is anti-consumer, “ he added.

The proposed tax is another measure that hits the poor and middle class more than the rich and big corporations, he said, adding that if the government really would want to increase its coffers, it should embark on a progressive tax system that taxes directly the rich and big corporations more rather than the poor, he said.

“For instance, a wealth tax of 1% can be levied on every million earned by an individual, family or corporation or a tax scheme to that effect. It can also vigorously go after the Philippine offshore gaming operators and have them pay their billions worth of accrued taxes,” he said.

“It is tragically ironic that the government wants to tax the poor more but it rushed the passage of the CREATE that that would lower the income tax rate of corporations and the rich and will result to an estimated P259B revenue loss for the government until 2022,” he added.The proposal is “definitely” anti-consumer and must be opposed, junked, and buried, he said.

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