ALL businesses that use electronic platforms have until July 31, 2020 to register with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
BIR Commissioner Caesar Dulay, through Revenue Memorandum Circular 60 dated June 1, 2020, also directed all digital businesses to issue a registered sales invoice or official receipt for every sale of goods or services, keep registered books of accounts, remit withholding taxes, file the required tax returns, and pay the correct taxes on time.
Covered by this BIR directive ar all person doing business and earning income “through the use of any electronic platforms and media, and other digital means.”
They include partner sellers/merchants and stakeholders of payment gateways, delivery channels, internet service providers and other facilitators.
The BIR also encourage these digital entrepreneurs and businesses to voluntarily declare their past transactions.
“All those who will be found later doing business without complying with the registration/update requirements, and those who failed to declare past due taxes/unpaid taxes shall be imposed with the applicable penalties under the law, and existing revenue rules and regulations,” the memorandum stated.
Senator Risa Hontiveros and Gabriela Representative Arlene Brosas slammed the new BIR directive and said the BIR must instead run after tax delinquent Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (Pogo) firms.
“Imbes na online sellers, baka pwedeng singilin muna ang mga POGO na may P50 billion in unpaid taxes?” Hontiveros asked.
“Hindi yung dagdag-perwisyo pa sa sarili nating mga kababayan na kaunti na nga lang ang kita para pandagdag-gastos sa pamilya nila--bakit ba ang luwag natin sa Pogo pero ang lupit sa mga Pilipino,” she said.
During a Senate labor committee hearing on February 11, BIR representative Sixto Dy Jr. said all foreign-based Pogo firms are not paying their francise tax.
There are around 60 Pogo businesses licensed by the Philipppine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor). Only 10 of them are Philippine-based while 50 are based abroad.
Brosas, for her part, urged the BIR to revoke its memorandum circular.
"Bakit pilit na bubuwisan ang pagsisikap ng mga Pilipinong makaraos sa harap ng pandemya at krisis samantalang gusto pang babaan ang buwis sa malalaking korporasyon at nagluluwag pa sa POGOs?" Brosas said.
"For many Filipino women, online selling is the bread and butter as the Duterte administration remains a failure in providing sufficient aid and, decent jobs amid the crisis," she added. (With a report from Jove Moya)