BIR shuts first POGO licensee for P114 million in tax deficiencies

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 21 2020 05:41 PM

The BIR has shut down offshore gaming firm Synchronization Anywhere For You Inc (SAFYI) in Pasay City for failure to pay 5 percent franchise tax due on its gross gaming receipts in 2019. Handout 

MANILA - The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) on Friday said it shut down an offshore gaming operator in Pasay City for failing to pay proper taxes from its 2019 earnings.

Synchronization Anywhere For You Inc (SAFYI) is the first Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) to be shuttered by the government for failure to pay 5 percent franchise tax due for its gross gaming receipts for the year 2019 worth P114 million, the BIR said in a statement. 

"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," the BIR said. 

Some POGO service providers and businesses catering to Chinese nationals were earlier shut due to tax and license violations. 

Under Presidential Decree No. 1869, the entire gross gaming revenue from offshore gaming operations of franchise holders is subject to 5 percent tax, in place of all other taxes, the BIR said. 

The BIR's Task Force POGO with the Department of Finance remain committed to collect the correct taxes from erring entities, the agency said. 

As of Feb. 1, there were 60 licensed POGOs in the Philippines and hundreds of POGO service providers. 

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation earlier suspended the processing of new POGO licenses following an appeal from the Chinese government to "punish" companies illegally recruiting its nationals to work here.