Govt to shut down tax delinquent POGOs

Manila

Philippines Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez has ordered the Bureau of Internal Revenue to shut down and file cases against online gambling operators that have failed or refused to pay taxes of their foreign workers. 

Dominguez reportedly made the order after receiving information that the Bureau of Internal Revenue is still owed around US$420 million in income taxes that have been withheld by online gaming operators, despite serving around 130 tax notices to online gambling companies. 

“Why don’t we start closing them down so they will answer these assessments. Those who don’t pay or respond to your assessments, clamp them down,” said Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez in an inter-agency meeting last Friday.

There are at least 58 offshore gaming operators that have licenses to operate in the Philippines. It is estimated that there are around 138,000 foreign nationals employed in POGOs.

“The collection should be per individual,” the Finance chief said. “You force the issue and you bring them to court. I mean, close them down,” he added.