Influencer group says BIR circular timely, open for dialogue on tax compliance

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 20 2021 12:50 PM | Updated as of Aug 20 2021 01:46 PM

Taxpayers observe minimum health protocols as they file their Annual Income tax Return at a Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) tax filing center at the Fisher mall in Quezon City on April 15, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File
Taxpayers observe minimum health protocols as they file their Annual Income tax Return at a Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) tax filing center at the Fisher mall in Quezon City on April 15, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - The Creator and Influencer Council of the Philippines (CICP) on Friday said it commends the issuance of a new circular defining tax rules for social media influencers as it sought a dialogue with authorities to ease the burden of tax compliance.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue earlier released Memorandum Circular 97-2021 which gave an overview of the tax rules for social media influencers.

The tax bureau also emphasized that "certain social media influencers have not been paying their income taxes despite earning huge income from different social media platforms."

In a statement, CICP said its "core values" as responsible citizens include paying taxes but much has to be done to make it easier for those who earn a living digitally.

"We hope the BIR recognizes that we in the organization, as well as the vast community of Influencers, conduct business digitally," the group said.

"We hope the BIR will soon introduce certain mechanisms that will ease the burden of tax compliance by using these digital platforms, not only for the benefit of the Influencers, but also for the benefit of all taxpayers. We would be happy to dialogue with the Bureau about these initiatives," it added.

CICP said it is also crafting a Code of Ethics around content standards, fair dealing, transparency, social responsibility and compliance with the law.

Tax expert Mon Abrea earlier said social media influencers should register with the BIR to avoid tax evasion charges. Those with sales or income over P3 million are subject to value added tax (VAT), he said.

Those with marginal income or below the threshold set by the government are exempted from paying taxes but they should still register with the BIR, Abrea said. 

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