Increased taxes for POGO eyed

Under proposed Senate Bill No. 1295, an income tax of 30% and a franchise tax of 5% shall be collected from Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs).

Filed by Senate Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto, Senate Bill No. 1295 aims to put in place tax regimes for Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs).

To avoid confusion with existing laws on taxation causing under-collection, the bill explicitly targets POGOs, its agents, and all offshoots of the said business.

Recto said that the proposed bill would be a means to amend the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC) of 1997 and set provisions directed at POGO businesses and its operators.

In November of 2019, the House Committee on Ways and Means approved amendments of the NIRC increasing the gross revenue tax of Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) licensees to 5% from 2% which included POGO operators.

According to the Bureau of Internal Revenue, only Php 5B was collected from POGO operators in 2019, far from the PAGCOR forecast of Php 20B per year as earlier claimed by Chairperson Andrea Domingo, and even further from the estimated Php 50B supposed collection of income and withholding taxes from registered PAGCOR licensees.

Surigao del Norte representative and Chairperson of the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs recommended having non-compliant POGO business shut down and deported following increased incidents of drugs, smuggling, kidnapping, and prostitution involving Chinese POGO workers.


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