The Philippine government would never tolerate the tax evasion of POGO companies
Malacañang Palace, Philippines - Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, in an official broadcast, stated that any POGO that fails to settle any outstanding debts in taxes would not be allowed to reopen.
Through a digital conference aired on the state-run network, Roque said that the Philippine government would never tolerate tax evasion of POGO companies.
“We would not allow POGOs with unpaid taxes to operate”, added Roque.
This after Philippine senator Joel Villanueva said that there were only two POGOs who managed to pay their dues in full and are allowed to resume operations.
Several lawmakers have criticised POGO companies for not paying the proper taxes to the government, and a heated discussion erupted when the regulator Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) gave POGOs the go signal to operate earlier in May following a set of guidelines for reopening.
Recently, another legislator, Rep. Ace Barbers said that POGOs, whether domestic or foreign corporations, are subject to 5 percent franchise tax. This after several debates whether the franchise tax shall be charged to only locally registered POGOs. Barbers further stated that the Philippine Law does not distinguish whether an operator is local or foreign registered, and that all POGOs licensed by PAGCOR are subject to the franchise tax.
Out of the 60 licensed POGOs, only 10 are registered as domestic corporations while the rest are registered as foreign entities, with the latter claiming that they are not subject to the 5 percent franchise tax since they are not physically in the country.
Department of Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said that they will investigate into the reports that some POGOs have resumed operations despite failure to pay the tax obligations in full.
The finance department further stated that collection for corporate and personal income taxes by the government should be up to P20 billion (US$399.2 million) annually.