The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) previously went after online sellers despite the current social climate under the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic and required the registration of their businesses and the payment of their taxes just like businesses with retail storefronts.
The list of online merchants that need to register with the agency has been released as BIR directs its more than 120 revenue district officers (RDOs) across the country to release the certificate of registration of digital sellers of goods and services in a day or two upon the submission of the application — including these are bloggers and YouTubers whose earnings come from digital ads required to register.
An approximately six (6) million big, medium, and minimal digital merchants are operating in the country according to the BIR.
Merchants to Register
BIR Deputy Commissioner for Operations Arnel Guballa requested the following digital merchants to register:
- e-Commerce platform providers
- Internet retailers of consumer goods
- Digital service, membership and subscription
- Digital transaction through the use electronic platforms and media
- Online blogging, film makers earning from advertising gained from their online channels
- Ride-hailing services for food, transportation, delivery, or merchandise.
The Revenue Memorandum Order No. 30-2020, signed by Guballa, read that “submission of the application, payment and release of the papers shall be done at the same counter reserved for senior citizens and persons with disabilities.”
The registration fee is P500 with an additional P30 for documentary stamp tax.
Guballa, however, cleared that only those who earn P250,000 above each year will be required to pay income tax.
Netizens Against the Memorandum of Requiring Business and Workers Running Digital Ads to Register to the BIR
A well-known political blogger with a following of 250,000 people used to earn an average of P15,000 to P25,000 monthly just from digital ads, but all this changed when trolls attacked her and complaints were launched against her which ultimately cancelled her deal with Facebook. Her average monthly earnings then went down to only P5,000 or P7,000. She retaliated by saying she was willing to pay taxes should there be clear guidelines.
She continued to say that she hopes that the BIR start with POGOs instead of having bloggers earning from digital ads required to register.
But I hope the BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue) start with POGOs (Philippine offshore gaming operators.”
In line with this, a filmmaker who received an award upon his very first film and resorted to online selling due to the pandemic begs to differ. He said that such taxations are untimely and questionable. He even quoted the funds for COVID asking where it went.
I am against it because the timing is terrible. Taxation is reasonable if the ones in authority are using it for good, but so far, we haven’t seen where the P275 billion COVID emergency fund went. We do not need more taxes now, we need assistance. The unemployment rate has gone up since the pandemic, and people are trying to find ways like online selling or blogging to survive. This BIR plan shows how the government is so insensitive to the needs of the people.”
The BIR last Friday said to lawmakers “online bloggers and filmmakers earning from advertising gained from their online channels” were covered by a memorandum which states that people earning from digital ads required to register so their taxes can be paid.
The memorandum affects e-commerce platform providers, including Shopee and Lazada, internet retailers of consumer goods, providers of digital membership/subscription services and other digital transactions through the use of electronic platforms and media, online bloggers and filmmakers earning advertising income, and ride-hailing services for food, transport, delivery or merchandise.
Key Points Online Sellers Must Know Regarding the Requirements
If such the case that you are affected by the tax compliance law, here are some things to remember:
- An existing due date. Businesses as well as the people earning from digital ads required to register must do so on or before July 31, 2020. The agency will impose a penalty upon any late registration.
- Past transactions are voluntary. The memorandum encourages online sellers to voluntarily declare any of their previous business transactions subject to pertinent taxes and pay any amount due. No penalty for complying as long as it is before the due date.
- Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) required. Other requirements for complying individuals include a certificate from the Department of Trade and Industry, if the business has a name; a government-issued ID; and payments for registration (P500), documentary stamp tax (P30) and for receipts (how much will depend on a person’s choice among accredited printers). Either a certificate of incorporation, recording, or license to do business in the country from the Securities and Exchange Commission are required from non-individuals if pertinent. Additional requirements include Articles of Incorporation or Articles of Partnership; and same the fees for registration, documentary stamp tax, and BIR-printed receipts.
What do you think of the bloggers and YouTubers earning from digital ads required to register fiasco? Is it only fair for them to do so or not? How about other business people who run digital ads required to register?
Source: Manila Bulletin News