The pressures are being continuously mounted on POGO or Philippines Offshore Gambling Operator. The industry is facing tough scrutiny especially for paying up the tax that they owe to the government. The situation for the operator could even tougher now thanks to a new Tax Bill for Pogo. Albay Representative Joey Salceda has filed a new bill with the House of Representatives.
The House Bill numbered 5267 seeks clarification of tax imposed on the POGO employees. As per the bill, the companies of POGO doing business in the Philippines and thus the employees should be subjected to the tax.
The new bill says that specific tax code should be implied for the POGO employees that is beyond the ambit of the income tax that they are expected to pay. Joey believes that if the tax regime can be codified then it would help the government to have more control of the industry to stabilize it. The tax revenue and enforcement would also be a lot easier for the government believes the representative.
The bill wants to have a 15% tax on the salaries, wages, annuities, compensation, remuneration, honoraria and other allowances from the employer. The bill also specifically asks POGO to pay 5% of tax on the gross receipts. This tax has already been asked by the Bureau of Internal Revenue as well.
The bill could be another nightmare for the operator. A week ago, Joey spoke about the tax hike for the POGO Employees. Interestingly, there was no mention of the bill by then nor the details were revealed. However, Carlos Dominguez, the Secretary of the Department of Finance echoed the same opinion back then. It would be interesting to see the responses now as the details of the bill are now revealed.
The POGO Industry is already suffering from raising taxes. Two of the companies recently shut down their business as they failed to pay the taxes. Once the payment plan was agreed upon, then only it was re-opened.
There is a high chance that the industry will suffer now. The government is very serious about tax collection now. The collection due is almost PHP 20b which is $300m. It is believed that many of the operators would simply leave than to pay the taxes due. As it appears, there is more tax coming on the way for the POGO industry, the situation looks even more likely.