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POGO tax bill enacted soon – Salceda

Edu Punay - The Philippine Star
POGO tax bill enacted soon â Salceda
House tax committee chair Joey Salceda said this decision will pave the way for faster passage of the measure that could bring in over P175 billion in revenue for the government in the next five years.
Vallery Hache / AFP

MANILA, Philippines — Expectations are high that President Duterte would soon sign the measure imposing tax on Philippine offshore gaming operations (POGOs) after the House leadership decided to adopt the Senate’s version of the bill.

House tax committee chair Joey Salceda said this decision will pave the way for faster passage of the measure that could bring in over P175 billion in revenue for the government in the next five years.

“The House leadership, at my recommendation, will adopt the POGO tax regime approved by the Senate. That version contains only minor reworkings of the House version, and there is no difference between their tax rates and tax bases and those of the House version,” the Albay congressman explained.

Salceda said the House leadership under Speaker Lord Allan Velasco conceded to the few revisions made by the Senate to House Bill 5777 that was passed last February and has been certified as urgent by the President.

“We were the first draft and they made very few modifications. So, recognizing the respect that the Senate extended to the House version, we will adopt their changes, which in my view are acceptable,” he added.

Under the version of the House, POGOs will be subject to a 5-percent tax on gross gaming receipts.

Their service providers will be subject to regular taxes while non-resident employees of both will be subject to a withholding tax of 25 percent of gross income, with a presumed income of P600,000.

On the other hand, the Senate version removes the provision that POGOs currently registered with other special economic zones will pay at their current tax rate or five percent of gross gaming revenues, whichever is higher, and instead makes the five percent rate uniform.

Salceda said such revision will be “of little consequence.”

The Senate version also requires every alien employee of offshore gaming licensees (OGL) commonly known as POGO to have a Tax Identification Number (TIN) and imposes a P20,000 fine on the OGL for every alien employee without a TIN.

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