Social-media influencers now required to register with BIR

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SOCIAL-media influencers are being required by the government to register with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

Finance Undersecretary Antonette C.  Tionko said on Tuesday the government aims to capture more revenues from social-media influencers as they are also required to pay their taxes.

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).

“That’s one of the measures we are adopting because that’s the sector that I don’t know if they pay taxes,” Tionko told reporters.

Tionko, who heads the Department of Finance’s (DOF) Revenue Operations Group, said they will be able to determine the amount of revenues the government can collect from social-media influencers once they register with BIR.

The finance official said they have also made it easier for local online sellers and people with online transactions to register.

“We will know once they register. The other way to do it is to look at their counter parties, to audit their counter parties, like the ones that advertise and all that. You can see the match, that’s the way to do it,” she said.

In its Revenue Memorandum Circular 97-2021 released on Monday, 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 BIR cited reports that they 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.

The bureau also warned that social-media influencers who fail to file returns and pay taxes may be criminally liable apart from paying the taxes due, as well as the corresponding penalties. It also warned against under-declaration of taxable sales, receipts, or income, or a substantial overstatement of deductions.

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 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.

For this year, BIR is targeting to collect a total of P2.081 trillion.

The BusinessMirror earlier reported that the BIR fell short of its P1.226-trillion collection goal for the 7-month period as Covid-19-induced lockdown restrictions continue to hamper economic activity.

The bureau collected P1.206 trillion as of end-July this year, based on the latest preliminary BIR data obtained by the BusinessMirror.

Image courtesy of Sondem – stock.adobe.com

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