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105 social media influencers have registered as taxpayers at the BIR!

More than 100 social media influencers committed to pay their dues, after the Bureau of Internal Revenue issued a warning about tax obligations.
105 social media influencers have registered as taxpayers at the BIR!
File photo: BIR logo

BIR declined to identify the 105 newly compliant influencers

About two months ago, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has issued a warning to remind social media users, who earn money online, to pay their taxes. In the memo signed by BIR Commissioner Caesar Dulay, the agency emphasized the tax obligations of social media influencers.

According to the agency, they received reports that some 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 from social media platforms for tax purposes."

In September, BIR even conducted an investigation on its initial list of influencers for tax compliance. The list contained around 250 social media influencers. Moreover, it has already issued Letters of Authority (LOAs) for the conduct of the investigation to certain social media influencers found to be "top earners".

As a result of the agency's efforts to hunt social media influencers who haven't settled their taxes yet, more than a hundred committed to pay their dues.

Assistant Secretary Dakila Napao of the Department of Finance stated that as of Sept. 15, 105 influencers and content creators have registered as taxpayers at the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

However, BIR declined to divulge the identity of the influencers who complied with the memo since tax records are confidential. Napao explained that they still have to gather information on the amount of taxes collected from social media influencers. She added, 

The BIR’s call for online-based businesses to register and pay taxes since last year also yielded 2,282 registrants among retailers and service providers.

The ongoing investigation will not only determine compliance, but also the amount of unpaid taxes of social media influencers. For those who have erased their social media accounts for several reasons, the agency said their digital footprint could still be traced.

According to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, "it’s not a crime to delete social media accounts" but "we will still go after them whether or not they have a social media account because if they earned money, and we have evidence that they (did), they have to pay the tax. Everybody has to pay tax whatever your source of income is."

BIR had cautioned that bigger fines and longer jail time await those who profit from their vlogs and viral content on social media but do not pay taxes.

Source: Inquirer

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