President Rodrigo Duterte has imposed a three-day deadline for delinquent Philippine offshore gaming operators to settle their tax liabilities.
“I’m giving you at least three days [from Nov. 29]. That’s good enough, fair enough. Do you think it’s fair, three days? What do you think as a Filipino? Three days would be a kind of parang (perhaps) a good grace period for them,” Duterte said in an exclusive interview with CNN Philippines.
He warned that those who would snub his order would face sanctions.
“They are now ordered to register [at] BIR [and get a tag number]. Now, I’m telling them, POGOs—[these are not just] Chinese but Filipino, Filipino-Chinese—you better settle that [liability],” Duterte added.
The Department of Finance earlier lamented the slow pace of collection of withholding income taxes
from POGOs, despite the issuance of 130 demand letters to firms with tax liabilities amounting to P21.62 billion.
READ: Finance vows relentless tax campaign vs. POGOs
The latest data from the BIR revealed that the bureau has so far collected P1.63 billion in withdrawing taxes from POGOs from January to August this year, after collecting P175 million in 2017 and P579 million in 2018.
The DOF estimates P2 billion in withholding taxes from foreigners working in the POGO industry.
The BIR has shut down the operations of tax-evading POGO firms
Altech Innovations Business Outsourcing, Great Empire Gaming, and Amusement Corp., and New Oriental Club88 for unpaid taxes.
Duterte said he would not tolerate these POGOs’ failure to pay the right amount of taxes to the government.
“I am telling you. Do not fool Filipinos because Filipinos are not fools,” he said.
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