New Senate bill seeks to tax Pogo sector

THE Senate on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020, has filed a bill which seeks to impose a 30 percent income tax on all Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (Pogos) in the country.

Sen. President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto has filed Senate Bill 1295 which will establish a tax regime for the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (Pogo) sector.

Under the new bill, licensed Philippine-based Pogos, local gaming agents and service providers will be subjected to a 30 percent income tax and five percent franchise tax.

The taxable amount will be derived in the preceding taxable year from all sources within and outside of the Philippines.

The five percent franchise tax will be imposed on all gross receipts derived from gaming operations of both Philippine and foreign-based Pogo companies.

“Despite the fact that Pogo is a growing industry in this country, the peculiarity of the nature of its business activity creates confusion in the enforcement of our existing tax laws. Establishing the tax regime of Pogos and incorporating the same in the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, is necessary to remove any doubt and avoid the confusion whether Pogos are taxable in our jurisdiction,” Recto said.

Meanwhile, the Senate committee on labor and employment and human resources development headed by Sen. Joel Villanueva questioned the influx of foreign workers in the Pogo sector.

According to Villanueva, Pogos primarily employ foreign nationals and do not generate jobs for Filipinos.

“I am not a fan of gambling. It’s just that gambling comes with corruption, may kakambal na kirmen at prostitusyon. Ngayon naririnig natin may kidnapping na rin,” Villanueva said.

He added that foreign workers in Pogo-related establishments are not properly paying taxes. (Sunstar Philippines)


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