BIR to offer no more extensions for registering online business

THE Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) said it will not extend the latest registration period for online sellers, after the deadline was moved twice.

“There will be no extension. Enough time was given to register,” BIR Deputy Commissioner for Operations Arnel SD. Guballa said in a text message Wednesday.

The original deadline was July 31. It was then moved to Aug. 31 and to Sept. 30.

Mr. Guballa said late registrants will be subject to penalties starting Thursday, Oct. 1.

The bureau issued Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 60-2020 in June to remind online sellers to register with the BIR. Some 7,262 businesses have registered so far.

The registration period was imposed to give online vendors more time to comply without incurring penalties.

New online businesses surged due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“All those who will be found later doing business without complying with the registration/update requirements, and those who failed to declare past due taxes/unpaid taxes shall be imposed with the applicable penalties under the law, and existing revenue rules and regulations,” according to the circular.

Prior to June, the bureau did not have a specific industry code for businesses involved in digital transactions, according to Mr. Guballa. The bureau has since started monitoring the tax compliance of such businesses.

The Department of Finance (DoF) said in May that it is working with the BIR on measures that will contain the foregone value-added tax (VAT) created by the digital economy. The DoF estimates up to P17 billion in potential VAT collections from online transactions.

Officials have asserted their authority to tax under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act, which sets the ceiling for tax-exempt annual income at P250,000. Other laws exempt from VAT entities with gross sales below P3 million. — Beatrice M. Laforga

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