Taxes collected from Pogos in January 2021 down by 69% — BIR
MANILA, Philippines — Taxes collected from the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (Pogos) for January 2021 has decreased by 68.63 percent as compared to collections in the same month last year, owing to a halt in most of their operations due to the Covid-19 pandemic, among others, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) said on Thursday.
According to BIR deputy commissioner Arnel Guballa, tax collections from Pogos in January this year was only at P327 million, which is significantly lower than the P1.043 billion collection in the same month in 2020.
“The real reason in this drop in collection is that during the pandemic and up to the issuance of the TRO (temporary restraining order), most of the Pogos stopped operating so that is one major factor that’s why there is a drop in collection,” said Guballa during the hearing of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means on taxes for Pogos.
“So there was a decrease of P715 million or a decrease of 68.63 percent,” he added.
Based on the January collection, Guballa said the BIR is expecting to collect P3.92 billion in taxes from Pogos this year.
“The total projection for Pogo revenues for taxable year 2021 is P3.92 billion based on the January voluntary payments that they have made. The amount is based on the January actual collection multiplied by 12 months. This is just an estimate,” he explained.
Guballa also said that the tax collections from Pogos was at 7.1 billion in 2020, which is P752 million or 11.71 percent higher than the 6.4 billion in 2019.
The BIR in May last year issued rules mandating Pogos and service providers to pay their taxes first before resuming operations. But some Pogos based outside the Philippines had contested the required 5-percent franchise tax, which they claimed covered only operators located inside the country.
The BIR, however, pointed out that it was already requiring a franchise tax on all Pogos, whether here or abroad, since 2017, causing several Pogos that did not want to pay to leave the Philippines.
The Supreme Court later issued a temporary restraining order against the five-percent franchise tax on gross bets slapped on Pogos under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.