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BIR seeks to level playing field via online sellers’ tax

By Iris C. Gonzales (The Philippine Star) | Updated January 1, 2013 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) said it seeks to level the playing field through its plan to tax online sellers.
BIR Commissioner Kim Henares said taxing online shops or businesses is only appropriate because regular businesses are taxed by the BIR. “If we don’t deal with online sellers, we’re not leveling the playing field with someone who has a physical store,” Henares said.
She said it’s the same as going after doctors who do not issue receipts.
The BIR chief is referring to those who are engaged in business, people who trade, buy and sell products online.
She said consumers who patronize online businesses should always ask for a receipt not only for tax purposes but also as proof of their transaction which would enable them to file a complaint if needed.
The BIR is stepping up efforts to boost revenues by going after various sectors such as professionals, gold sellers and now, online businesses.
The agency has already breached P1-trillion collection mark, the agency’s preliminary revenue figures as of Dec. 17 showed.
The agency has yet to check if it meets the P1.066-trillion goal for the year, the first time in the agency’s history that the assigned target hit the P1-trillion mark.
Latest data showed that the BIR met its collection target in November, raising P110.77 billion or P7.81 billion more than its target for the month of P102.953 billion.
Compared to the same period last year, the BIR’s November collections showed an increase of P18.02 billion or 19.42 percent.
The P110.77 billion generated in November brought the January to November collections to P969.34 billion in tax revenues.
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