The Deparment of Finance says P20 billion is the minimum offshore operators should be giving to Philippines state coffers each year.
Philippines.- The Department of Finance expects Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs) to deliver around P20 billion (USD399million) per year.
During the Kapihan sa Manila Bay virtual briefing, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the government was currently receiving about P6 billion (USD119 million) a year from POGOs and that the income remained a small portion of government revenue.
This was the amount received in 2019, while in previous years POGOs paid only P1 billion (US$19.9million) in taxes, GMA News reported.
The POGO industry, represented by the Accredited Service Providers Association of PAGCOR (ASPAP), said its members had paid the required regulatory fees. However, local congress members say POGOs owe the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) about P50 billion (about US$997 million) in unpaid taxes.
Dominguez said: “Tax revenues in the Philippines in 2020 was P2 trillion (USD39.9 billion). You know how much we got from the casinos? P20 billion (USD399million). It’s not that much.”
He also admitted that it might be true that only two of the 60 POGOs licensed to operate in the Philippines had paid their taxes in the last year, as senator Joel Villanueva recently claimed.
Since they have no legal or financial residency in the country, the companies are claiming that the 5 per cent franchise tax that local operators must pay does not apply to them. However, legislators say all POGOs licensed by PAGCOR to operate in the Philippines must pay the fee no matter where they are physically located.