POGO ‘clearly taxable’; OSG got it wrong – Drilon
MANILA, Philippines — The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) was wrong in saying that Philippine offshore gaming operators (Pogos) could not be taxed, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said Monday.
“Sa akin po, nagkamali si SolGen sa kaniyang statement na hindi taxable ang Pogo. Sa katunayan, ang BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue) ang dapat mag-interpret ng ating batas tungkol sa buwis, sang-ayon sa Section 4 ng National Internal Revenue Code,” Drilon pointed out in an interview with reporters at the Senate.
(For me, the SolGen has mistaken in his statement that Pogos are not taxable. In fact, the BIR should be the one to interpret our law when it comes to collecting taxes under Section 4 of the National Internal Revenue Code).
This comes after OSG reportedly said Pogos cannot be taxed since it earns “from bets placed by its registered foreign subscribers.”
But Drilon said activities of Pogos are “clearly taxable” since it operates inside the country.
“Ang betting, dito sa atin; lahat po dito sa atin. Lahat ng taxable activity ay nasa loob ng ating bansa, hindi sa labas,” the senator said.
(The betting is done here; everything is done here. Every taxable activity happens inside the country, not outside).
“Kapag ganyan ang ating theory, paano naman maisasara itong mga isinarang Pogo dahilan sa sinasabi nating hindi nagbabayad ng buwis. Pangalawa, ‘yung mga empleyado ng Pogo subject to tax ngunit ‘yung mga operator ay exempted from our taxes. Hindi ba salungat iyon?” Drilon added.
(If that’s our theory, how can we close down Pogos for reasons we say they don’t pay taxes. Secondly, Pogo employees are subject to tax but operators are exempted from our taxes. Isn’t that contradiction?)
BIR had earlier reported that tax collections from Pogos had increased amid the agency’s intensified drive against Pogos evading their tax obligations.
Edited by KGA
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