MANILA -- The Philippines' effort to tax digital services will focus on the likes of Netflix, Amazon and Alibaba, not small online sellers, a revenue official said Wednesday.
A Bureau of Internal Revenue order for online sellers to register was not aimed at small businesses, Deputy Commissioner for Operations Arnel Guballa told Teleradyo.
Online sellers earning less than P250,000 a year are exempted from income tax, while those earning less than P3 million annually need not pay value added tax, Guballa said.
"Ang gusto talagang habulin ng BIR ay yung malalaking merchants or sellers sa online kagaya ng Netflix, Amazon, Alibaba...Doon po talaga kami papunta sa malalaki, hindi po sa mga kababayan natin na maliliit," Guballa said.
(What we're running after is the big merchants like Netflix, Amazon, Alibaba. That's what where we're going to the big one, not the small local sellers)
"Ang gusto lang po namin malaman, makita ang data ng total population na engaged sa online selling, kahit maliliit pero not necessarily we will tax the marginal income players," he said.
(What we want to see is the data or the total population engaged in online selling including the small ones but that does not necessarily mean that we will tax the marginal income players)
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III earlier said the government was exploring "viable ways" to tax all forms of digital commerce.
All online sellers in the country were mandated to register their businesses and pay taxes for past transactions before July 31.