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Whoever earns from playing Axie Infinity must pay taxes —BIR

Income derived from playing cryptocurrency-based gaming platforms such as Axie Infinity are subject to payment of income taxes, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) said Tuesday.

“Ang serbisyo ng paglalaro diyan kayo binabayaran ng income. Nabibigyan kayo ng benefits o currency na ginagamit o tini-trade ninyo to convert into money at nagagamit pambayad,” BIR Deputy Commissioner for Legal Group Marissa Cabreros said during Laging Handa briefing.

(The service of playing is where you earn income. You get benefits or currency which are used for trading or converted into money for payment.)

“At the end of the day may flow of income na pumasok sa ating players (there is a flow of income going into players) so income din po ‘yan na pupwede pong maging taxable (so that income can be taxable),” Cabreros said.

In Axie Infinity’s play-to-earn scheme, players can earn income through swapping or selling “Small-Love Potion” or SLPs, earned while playing, into cash.

“It doesn't mean na napunta kayo sa digital arena o digital world, eh hindi na kayo magdedeklara o hindi na kayo taxpayer,” Cabreros said.

(It doesn’t mean when you enter the digital arena or digital world, you are exempted from declaring income and being a taxpayer.)

The BIR official said that if a player’s net income for an entire year does not exceed P250,000, under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law, he/she is exempted from paying income tax.

Nonetheless, Cabreros said all players whether a “scholar” or “breeder” as long as they earned income from playing the game, they are subject to payment of income tax.

Players are encouraged to register at the BIR’s New Business Registration system which can be accessed on the agency’s website. -MDM, GMA News