BIR reports delay in reopening of POGOs

Published June 17, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Jun Ramirez

The reopening of the more than 200 Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) is likely to be delayed further as these entities are questioning the decision of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to impose franchise tax on their business.


Revenue Deputy Commissioner for Operations Arnel Guballa told the “Laging Handa” public hearing that online gambling lawyers wanted to confer with the BIR to resolve the issue.

POGO lawyers argued that theirs is an offshore business, and are thus not liable to pay the taxes imposed by the Philippine government.

Guballa said the BIR will come out with a position paper, as he observed that the Tax Code has no clear provision on the POGOs.

He stressed, however, that the business should be taxed as it derives income and profits within the country.

Franchise tax is not income tax, but based on net worth, or capital of the company.

Guballa said other issues for the resumption of online gambling have already been resolved like payment of income and final withholding taxes.

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation has required POGOs to secure a tax clearance from the BIR before allowing them to restart.