February 22, 2020 at 01:00 am
Julito G. Rada
The Bureau of Internal Revenue on Friday closed an offshore gaming operation licensee for failure to pay the 5-percent franchise tax due on gross gaming receipts for taxable year 2019 amounting to over ₱114 million.
The BIR said in a statement the amount was inclusive of incremental penalties. Amid intensified calls for the government to go after erring POGO and upon the directive of Deputy Commissioner Arnel Guballa, the BIR Task Force POGO enforced a mission order against Synchronization Anywhere For You Inc. with address at Eastfield Center, Macapagal Avenue, Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City.
“SAFYI is the first POGO licensee/operator closed by the BIR for failure to pay the 5-percent franchise tax due on its gross gaming receipts for taxable year 2019 amounting to over ₱114 million, inclusive of incremental penalties,” the BIR said.
The entire gross gaming revenues or earnings from gaming operations of franchise holders are subject to a franchise tax of 5 percent, in lieu of all other taxes.
“Under the leadership of Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez and Commissioner Caesar Dulay, the BIR remains committed to its duties to collect correct taxes and will vigilantly enforce tax laws against all erring entities,” the agency said.
Dominguez said earlier there would be no letup in the ongoing crackdown as the BIR further steps up its campaign against errant POGOs in 2020.
“Basically we’re going hard against people who are evading taxes,” he said.
The BIR, through its Task Force POGO, began a crackdown with the temporary closure of the operations of Great Empire Gaming and Amusement Corp. in Quezon City on Sept. 25, 2019 for failure to pay the correct amount of taxes to the government.
GEGAC was the first POGO service provider shut down by the BIR under its “Oplan Kandado” program for failing to register for VAT purposes, a violation of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC). Its satellite offices in Parañaque City and Subic Freeport were also padlocked by the BIR.
After initially paying P250 million and promising to settle its remaining tax arrears of P1.050 billion in three separate monthly payments covered by postdated checks, GEGAC was allowed by the BIR to resume operations on Sept. 27.