BIR studying possibility of taxing digital content and commerce

Published May 20, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Government finance managers are now studying the possibility of imposing taxes on online streaming and retail services.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III  (TOTO LOZANO/Presidential Photo / MANILA BULLETIN)
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III
(TOTO LOZANO/Presidential Photo / MANILA BULLETIN)

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez told senators on May 20, Wednesday, that they already started studying the possibility of collecting taxes from digital content and commerce.

“Right now, we don’t have a picture of the total amount of the transactions. What we are trying to figure out is how we will implement a tax collection program,” Dominguez said at the continuation of the Senate committee of the whole’s inquiry on the government’s COVID-19 response and economic stimulus plans.

“Our team from the DOF (Department of Finance) and the BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue) is working very hard to determine the way to tax transactions that are supposed to be taxed but are escaping taxation because they are on the internet,” he added.

Dominguez cited for instance that value-added tax was imposed on goods being sold in stores, while items sold online were not levied.

He added that they are identifying the transactions and the amount that will be taxed from video streaming services.

“We will report to the Senate as soon as we have a viable way of taxing these items,” he said.

Prior to this, Senator Ramon Revilla Jr. proposed that the Senate look into the possibility of imposing taxes on digital content and services to help finance the government’s COVID-19 response.

A similar proposal is being pushed in the House of Representatives.

 
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