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BIR closes 2nd POGO service provider

October 18, 2019

THE Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has shuttered another Philippine offshore gaming operator (POGO) service provider after failing to register with the tax agency.

The BIR, in coordination with the Department of Finance, padlocked on Thursday the offices of Altech Innovations Business Outsourcing in Aseana City, Parañaque City and in Pasay City.

“Results of the investigation showed that Altech Innovations Business Outsourcing is not registered for VAT (value-added tax) purposes, as certified by the Revenue District Office No. 052 – Parañaque City in violation of Section 108 vis-a-vis with Section 236 of the Tax Code,” the tax agency said in a statement.

Altech is owned by Jan Erick Lavariaz Altavas.

BIR Deputy Commissioner Arnel Guballa said the number of foreign employees in the service provider is about 1,000.

Altech is the second the tax agency shut down after Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd warned earlier this month that POGOs and their service providers whose tax liabilities remain unpaid face closure.

The first, Great Empire Gaming and Amusement Corp., was closed for also failing to register with the BIR. But it paid the agency an initial P250 million, and committed to pay the balance of its P1.3-billion total tax liabilities until the end of the fourth quarter through post-dated checks.

Last week, the tax agency said the compliance of online gaming operators and their service providers continue to improve as a result of the government’s strict enforcement of laws.

Income tax collection from foreign POGO workers has so far reached P1.6 billion this year, Guballa said.

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