BIR Preparing to Tax Streaming Services

The Bureau of Internal Revenue said it is laying the groundwork for taxing online service platforms and merchants including streaming services like Netflix.

In a briefing, Deputy Commissioner for Operations Arnel Guballa said the BIR is “(heading towards)” that direction and studying what other countries are doing with regard to value-added tax for such services. 

He added that the BIR will apply the destination principle in taxing online services and goods. Using Netflix as an example, he said even if its head office is in Europe, there is consumption in the Philippines which the government can collect taxes from.

On the other hand, Mr. Guballa said the BIR is focusing on the registration of online sellers, for whom a deadline of July 31 has been set. The BIR said it will not tax small online businesses and will be focusing on large online merchants and sellers.

Those who earn less than 250,000 pesos annually are exempt from paying income tax.


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