Tax office says majority of POGOs failed to pay tax dues

Most of the Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs) failed to pay their taxes last year, depriving the government coffers of an estimated PHP60bn (USD1.19bn), according to a Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) official.

The country has 60 licensed POGOs, but lawyer Sixto Dy Jr from the BIR Office of the Deputy Commission for Operations said that only ten, which are Philippine-based, paid their taxes last year. All of the 50 foreign-based POGO licensees have not paid their franchise tax, he added.

The government was only able to collect PHP8bn as a regulatory fee, or only 2% of the operators’ gaming revenue. The BIR official said the total franchise tax should have been at least PHP17bn to PHP18bn.

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