BIR eases tax rules for POGOs

Some POGOs have left the country.
Some POGOs have left the country.

Requirements to restart operations after the Covid-19 lockdown have been revised.

Philippines.- The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has posted new guidelines and requirements for Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs) and their service providers to apply for clearance

POGOs need to be cleared by the BIR to resume operations after the Covid-19 lockdown. In the last few days it’s emerged that some of the companies that had not been allowed to restart work had decided to leave the country.

The BIR has now posted on its website Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 64-2020, which removes specific coverage dates for franchise tax payments. The previous guidelines required POGO licence holders and service providers to have cancelled their dues with the BIR and their own workers for all of 2019 and this year’s first quarter, backing that up with the corresponding documentation.

The BIR has now left out the requirements for a notarised submission regarding “tax arrears for prior years,” and the payment of the withholding tax for employing foreign workers.

Even though the Philippine government has made it clear that the firms that abandon the market are still liable for unpaid taxes, major POGOs such as SC World Development Group –owned by Suncity Group- and Don Tencess Asian Services Solution have already closed operations.

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