Palace backs taxing online sellers, but those earning P250K below are exempt

MANILA, Philippines — While it supports the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s (BIR) directive to online sellers to settle their taxes, Malacañang on Thursday said those earning below P250,000 yearly are exempted from paying taxes.

In a televised press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the BIR order is among the steps that the government may take to strengthen tax collection to fund its COVID-19 response programs.

“Humihingi lang po ako ng pagintindi sa ating publiko dahil kung wala naman tayong laman sa kaban ng bayan wala tayong mga ayuda, wala tayong mga tulong na maibibigay habang nandito ang banta ng COVID,” Roque said.

(I am just asking for the public’s understanding because if we do not have the resources, we have no financial assistance, we will not have the help we can provide during the COVID threat.)

Socioeconomic Planning Acting Secretary Karl Chua said that online sellers who have an annual earnings of P250,000 below are exempted from paying taxes under the tax reform law.

“So ‘yun po ang sagot, if your online business net income does not exceed P250,000, e wala naman kayong babayaran. So magrehistro na po,” Roque said.

That’s the answer, if your online business net income does not exceed P250,000, you will not be taxed. So you should register your business.)

Earlier, the BIR directed online sellers and other digital-based businesses to register their activities, declare previous transactions and settle their corresponding taxes no later than July 31.

The order came after several businesses shift turn to the online platform as coronavirus lockdown restrictions have prevented physical stores from opening.