The industry’s compliance with the law is still insignificant as almost all have outstanding overdue payments
The Philippine government has allowed POGOs to resume operations conditionally during the epidemic. One of the conditions is that the operators must settle all taxes and related expenses, but the Bureau of Internal Revenue said that the industry's compliance with the law is still insignificant.
When asked by the media how many Philippine iGaming operators still need to settle the relevant taxes, Philippine National Tax Director Caesar R. Dulay replied: "Many, almost all." But Dulay said he currently does not have exact figures.
As of the beginning of this year, approximately 60 Philippine iGaming operators have obtained an operating license from the national regulatory agency Philippine Entertainment Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), while 218 Philippine iGaming operator service providers employ more than 108,000 foreigners , most of them Chinese.
The Philippine Ministry of Finance (DOF) reiterated in a statement issued on Saturday that the BIR needs to “ensure that Philippine iGaming operators and their respective service providers are properly registered and have paid the correct income tax and concession fees to the government, In order to resume operations during the outbreak.
The Ministry of Finance stated: “According to the guidelines and requirements issued by the BIR, all license holders or operators should first prove that they have paid the franchise tax for 2019, the franchise tax for the first quarter of 2020, and this year From January to April withholding tax, the BIR will issue a license only after the above requirements are met, and Philippine iGaming operators can resume operations.
The Ministry of Finance added: "At the same time, the service provider of the Philippine iGaming operator must also submit proof that it has paid the 2019 income tax, and paid and remitted the withholding tax from January to April this year, which includes 25% withholding tax for foreign employees. "
According to the Ministry of Finance, even if the service provider meets the relevant tax requirements, if the Philippine iGaming operator or licensee it attaches to does not comply with the requirements set forth by the Internal Revenue Service, the authorities will not issue relevant resumption permit documents to them. "
The Ministry of Finance stated: "All Philippine iGaming operator license holders, operators and service providers should also submit a notarised undertaking that the content promises to pay all the arrears of the previous years of operation and should register to the corresponding regional Office of the BIR with jurisdiction over its place of business.
The BIR also requires Philippine iGaming operators and service providers to provide monthly regulatory fees they have paid to Philippine entertainment gaming companies in the past few years.
“Failure to comply with this rule may result in the IRS 'refusal to issue a permit to resume operations, and the submission of forged or fraudulent documents will have the same consequences. Only follow the law and pay your tax can get your license and operation back” Warned by BIR.
In addition to these strict tax regulations, "all Philippine iGaming operators and service providers must strictly comply with government health and quarantine measures, such as limiting the number of employees, providing shuttle services for employees, conducting regular temperature tests on employees, and The office premises shall be regularly disinfected, maintain a safe social distance, wear masks and other related measures."
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