BIR urged to reconsider plans to impose 1% withholding tax on online sellersBy ANNA FELICIA BAJO, GMA Integrated News
The United Filipino Consumers and Commuters (UFCC) urged the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to reconsider its plan to impose a creditable withholding tax of 1% on online sellers.
In a statement, the group said the proposal was a "heavy blow to the ordinary Filipino people who will suffer the effects of the new tax."
"At a time when the country has yet to recover from the crippling effects of the COVID-19 pandemic fully, introducing new taxes that will ultimately hurt the poor is the last thing the country needs right now. Naghihirap ang taumbayan, huwag na sanang dagdagan pa ng pamahalaan (Filipinos are already experiencing hardships, I hope the government will not add to their burdens.)," UFCC President RJ Javellana said.
"We are concerned that the plan to have the new 1% withholding tax will be the beginning of more taxes to be imposed upon the already suffering public. It has already been reported that the Department of Finance (DOF) plans to introduce new and higher taxes in 2024," he added.
Earlier, the BIR noted that with the proliferation of online sales transactions through the facilities of online platform providers, there is a need to take advantage of the opportunity to identify sellers of goods and services who are therefore obliged to declare their income resulting from these transactions for tax purposes.
It is eyeing to impose a creditable withholding tax of 1% on one-half of the gross remittances of online platform providers to their partner sellers or merchants.
The UFCC called on President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. to be "on the side of the ordinary Filipinos in our crusade against new anti-poor tax measures."
"Naniniwala po kaming tutuparin ninyo ang inyong pangako na hindi kayo pabor sa pagpataw ng mga panibagong buwis na magpapahirap sa mamamayan at sa halip ay tututukan ng inyong administrasyon ang paglaban sa graft and corruption kasabay ng pagsulong ng efficient revenue collection. Inaasahan po ng publiko ang inyong tulong sa bagay na ito, Pangulong Marcos. Sana po pakinggan kayo ng DOF at ang BIR," Javellana said.
(We believe that you will stick with your promise that you are not in favor of enforcing new taxes and instead you will fight graft and corruption. We are hoping for your help regarding this matter, President Marcos. We hope the DOF and the BIR will listen to you.)
The group also called on online selling and services platform providers to be the voice of their partner sellers and merchants in their representation to the BIR.
GMA News Online reached out to the BIR for comment but it has yet to reply as of posting time. —VAL, GMA Integrated News