Senator Risa Hontiveros urged the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to withdraw, review, and rewrite its memorandum directing online sellers to register and pay taxes amid the COVID-19 crisis.

According to BIR Deputy Commissioner for Operations Arnel Guballa, the agency is only after taxing big online merchants, and those earning less than P250,000 a year are exempted from the income tax.

In response, Hontiveros said such clarifications on the memorandum should be done in writing. “As of today, RMC 60-2020 is still enforceable. Strictly speaking, its text still mandates all, including small online sellers, to register with the BIR,” she explained.

She also pointed out that the circular in effect will still require online sellers to not only physically go to BIR offices but to also spend around P2,260 to fully comply with all documentary requirements needed by the BIR.

Hontiveros proposed the government should invest in making online selling a more secure experience by tackling online fraud and other abusive trade practices.

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