As per the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s estimation, there are about six million digital merchants operating in the country and this prompted the agency to require them to register with BIR.
BIR released the list of these digital merchants required to register in their proper district and ordered more than 120 revenue district officers (RDOs) nationwide to release the certificate of registration of digital sellers of goods and services in a day or two upon the submission of the application.
BIR Deputy Commissioner for Operations Arnel Guballa said registration fee is P500 and an additonal fee of P30 for documentary stamp tax.
Included in the list are: 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, filmmakers earning from advertising gained from their online channels; and ride-hailing services for food, transportation, delivery, or merchandise.
Guballa said these digital merchants are required to register and at the same time made clarifications that only those earning more than P250,000 annually will be required to pay their income taxes.
Under the Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 60-2020 which states the Obligations of Persons Conducting Business Transactions Through Any Forms of Electronic Media, and Notice to Unregistered Businesses, issued on June 10, 2020, highlights:
• All persons doing business and earning income in any manner, specially those into digital transactions should be compliant with the tax code
- Should be registered with the BIR
- Should issue proper receipts/invoices
- Should keep books of accounts
- Should file and pay tax returns on time
• The Certificate of Registration (COR) shall be issued to those engaged in business upon compliance with requirements as follows:
- Fill-up registration form
- Present any government-issued ID that is readable and untampered
- Other documents required
- Payments to the New Business Registrant Office (NBRO) posted in tje New Business Registrant Counter (NBRC)
- Secure BIR Printed Receipts (BPR) / BIR Printed Invoices (BPI) or the Authority To Print (ATP)
This pronouncement was slammed by senators who are opposing the BIR’s order and questioned the urgency of taxing these digital merchants, online sellers, freelancers, etc., when the timing is not favorable to these small and medium entrepreneurs. Instead, the senators asked BIR to go after POGOs who owed the government of more than P50-B in unpaid taxes.