AN organization of content creators and social media influencers in the Philippines assured the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) that its members are willing to pay the right taxes, but asked the tax agency to ease the burden of tax compliance by using digital platforms.
The Creator and Influencer Council of the Philippines (CICP) welcomed the Revenue Memorandum Circular 97-2021 recently issued by the BIR, saying this is an opportunity for them to show how important it is for them to fulfill their obligation as citizens to pay proper taxes.
“That said, we hope the BIR recognizes that we in the organization, as well as the vast community of Influencers, conduct business digitally. We hope the BIR will soon introduce certain mechanisms that will ease the burden of tax compliance by using these digital platforms, not only for the benefit of the Influencers, but also for the benefit of all taxpayers. We would be happy to dialogue with the Bureau about these initiatives,” CICP said in its statement.
Moreover, the group also said they are currently crafting a Code of Ethics on content standards, fair dealing, transparency, social responsibility, and compliance with the law.
It also commended the BIR for issuing the circular, which provided information as to how their members could benefit from certain tax treaties between the Philippines and its partner countries for them to avoid double taxation.
“The Circular is a timely reminder of the values that we champion for our members and the broader influencer community. For this, we are thankful for the BIR in giving this opportunity not only for us to promote the organization’s core values, but also for us to show that we are doing our part as responsible citizens of this country,” it said.
Last week, the BIR issued the circular to remind social media influencers to pay their income and business taxes as they may be held criminally liable for failing to comply with their tax obligations.
Unless exempted in line with the provisions of the National Internal Revenue Code, the BIR on Monday said social-media influencers shall be liable to pay income tax and business tax, which may either be percentage tax or value-added tax (VAT).
Finance Undersecretary Antonette C. Tionko earlier said they are hoping to capture more revenues from social media influencers as they are also required to register with the BIR and pay their taxes.
Tionko, who heads the Department of Finance’s (DOF) Revenue Operations Group, said the government has also made it easier for local online sellers and people with online transactions to register.
In its circular, the BIR said it has been receiving reports that certain social-media influencers have not been paying their income taxes despite earning huge income from different platforms. Apart from this, the tax agency also cited reports that social media influencers are not registered with the BIR or are registered under different tax types or line of business but are also not declaring their earnings from social-media platforms for tax purposes.
Individual taxpayers earning a taxable annual income not exceeding P250,00 are exempted from paying income tax, under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law.
Those with gross revenues not exceeding P3 million a year are also exempt from paying VAT, but they are liable to percentage tax.
Those who will attempt to evade or defeat tax may be punished by a fine not less than P500,000 but not more than P10 million and suffer imprisonment of not less than 6 years but not more than 10 years.
Failure to file return, supply correct and accurate information, pay tax, withhold and remit tax and refund excess taxes withheld on compensation may be fined by not less than P10,000 and suffer imprisonment of not less than one year but not more than 10 years.