Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III ordered the Bureau of Internal Revenue to close down “as soon as possible” the operations of Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs) and their service providers that fail or refuse to pay the tax liabilities of their foreign workers.
Dominguez also directed the BIR to file the appropriate cases against these tax-dodging firms.
Dominguez issued the order over the weekend after learning from the BIR during a recent DOF executive committee meeting of the slow pace of collections of withholding income taxes from POGOs despite the issuance of 130 letter-notices to these firms with tax liabilities amounting to a combined P21.62 billion.
He reiterated his directive during a meeting held on Sept. 13 with members of an interagency task force monitoring the entry of foreign workers in the country.
“Why don’t we start closing them down so they will answer these assessments,” Dominguez said during the interagency meeting, “Those who don’t pay or respond to your assessments, clamp them down.”