At the Pre-State of the Nation Address (SONA) Economic and Infrastructure Forum press conference, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) will implement more strict tax collection measures from foreign workers operating in the Philippines.
“It’s everybody … Foreigners who work here, they should be paying taxes just like Filipinos who work abroad, who pay taxes,” shared Dominguez.
“I just talked to the BIR last week, and they said that they are already in place to start collections from foreign workers in the Pogo industry,” Dominguez said.
The government coffers will be collecting an additional P2 billion in revenue per month starting July. As it is mandatory under the law to pay taxes, Dominguez mentioned that to collect taxes from foreign Pogo workers that mostly consisted of Chinese workers will not require any new revenue regulation from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
“I asked them [the BIR] specifically to track how much they are collecting. They said they will start making the collections in July,” Dominguez mentioned.
The BIR will be collecting the taxes from workers in the Philippine offshore gaming operators (Pogo) sector. He explained that the taxes due in July will be collected by the BIR as salary deductions. Apparently, the Bureau of Immigration has a rough estimate of the number of workers in Pogo to be around 138,000 foreign nationals of which are employed mostly by Chinese bettors in online casino companies, according to data from Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Bureau of Immigration (BI).
“I’m sure there must be more [workers]—apparently, my friends tell me there are a lot of guys. I don’t know how many,” Dominguez said.
Despite concerns centered around how a few Pogo operators continue to be unregistered with the BIR, Dominguez mentioned he had confidence in the law enforcement being able to track them down.
“We will work together with the law enforcement if there are indeed unregistered Pogo operators to regulate them, to really look for them,” he said.
According to reports, the government has already formed a task force that consists of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Bureau of Immigration (BI), the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR), and BIR. The BIR also issued notices to collect about P1 billion in taxes from other Pogo firms.
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