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BIR CITES NONPAYMENT OF 12-PERCENT VAT

Taxman shuts down restaurants serving Pogo workers

/ 05:42 AM October 04, 2019

The crackdown on tax-evading businesses catering to the Philippine offshore gaming operators (Pogo) sector continues.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) closed down on Tuesday seven businesses in Las Piñas City, including two restaurants that sell food mostly to Chinese workers in the Pogo industry.

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In a statement on Thursday, the BIR said that among the establishments shuttered by its Revenue Region No. 8B covering South National Capital Region were Young Restaurant (owned by a Frame Rose Raner Salisi) and Shinedeligo Corp., which were described as Pogo restaurants.

“The establishments are said to be allied services to Pogo operations since they predominantly serve the Chinese nationals employed,” the BIR said.

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Young Restaurant and Shinedeligo did not pay the correct 12-percent value-added taxes, according to the BIR.

‘Nighttime’ businesses

The two restaurants were padlocked under the BIR’s “Oplan Kandado” program. Upon payments of their tax dues, the establishments can resume operations.

Five other “nighttime business establishments” in the area were closed down as they were unregistered with the BIR.

These were Bigsun Food Stop, Bottleground, Jazzy Sam Videoke and Grill, Janna-Hissa Catering Services and Society Eight Lifestyle Concept Store.

For all seven companies, “the required 48-hour notice and five-day VAT compliance notice were duly served but remained unheeded” since August.

As a result, these were padlocked on the orders of Deputy Commissioner Arnel Guballa, according to the BIR.

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On Sept. 25, the bureau’s Task Force Pogo shuttered the offices of Great Empire Gaming and Amusement Corp. (Gegac) in Libis, Quezon City; Parañaque and Subic Freeport from operating without BIR registration.

Gegac, one of the biggest Pogo service providers in the country, employs more than 8,000 workers, mostly Chinese.

The BIR allowed Gegac to resume operations on Sept. 27 after it paid an initial P250 million of its P1.3-billion tax liability.

There are 58 accredited Pogos in the country, with some 138,000 workers. Most Pogos employ Chinese workers. —BEN O. DE VERA

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