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BIR sets deadline for other POGO service providers


By Chino S. Leyco

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) expects more than 240 service providers of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) to remit the monthly withholding taxes of their foreign workers on or before the August 10 deadline.

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Of 248 POGO service providers licensed by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor), six companies have so far remitted P200-million in withholding taxes to the bureau for the month of July, said BIR Deputy Commissioner Arnel S.D. Guballa.

He said the remaining 242 service providers will follow suit and are expected to remit their foreign workers’ taxes on or before August 10.

Under BIR rules, employers have to remit withholding taxes from their workers on the 10th day after the end of the previous month.

“Six companies initially remitted, [but] others will follow,” Guballa assured, noting that August 10 is BIR’s deadline for the next payment of withholding taxes.

Industry sources said all licensed POGO service providers vowed to remit withholding taxes after one of the biggest service firms initiated the industry’s compliance with Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III’s tax enforcement directive.

Last week, Guballa said the BIR cashed in P200 million from foreign nationals working in six companies that provide IT, live dealer, call center and back office support services to offshore gaming companies.

He said the BIR expects the P200 million to snowball this month and in the succeeding months amid the agency’s intensified campaign against unregistered foreign nationals, who are mostly Chinese.

The BIR withheld the names of the six service providers that started remitting taxes, citing the bureau’s confidentiality rules.

At the BIR anniversary last week, Dominguez said the agency should ensure every taxpayer is treated fairly by going after foreign nationals and their employers “who fail to withhold and remit their contributions to pay for public goods and services that we all use and enjoy.”

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