Philippines targets P32b in unpaid POGO taxes

The Philippine government is reportedly targeting about P32 billion ($609 million) in estimated taxes that have not been paid by foreign employees of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator licensees, local media reports.

The Business Inquirer cited a calculation from Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III, who said that if the 138,001 foreign workers earned an average of $1,500 per month and paid the 25-percent personal income tax, the government can collect P32 billion in additional revenues.

The government has had POGOs in its sights for several months and in March, the

Department of Finance said it would begin compiling a database of POGO workers, many of whom are foreign, to ensure they pay tax.

According to a report submitted to Dominguez by the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) and Bureau of Immigration (BI) last week, 54,241 Pogo workers had been issued alien employment permits (AEPs) on top of 83,760 who have special working permits (SWPs), the newspaper said.

However, Dominguez said the monthly salary of P20,000 that many workers had reported was “ridiculously low.”