Photo courtesy of Angie de Silva.

Several senators questioned the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s (BIR) move to push people to register their online businesses and tax them amid the economic slowdown brought about by COVID-19.

Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan said this was not the time to tax and place more burden on the people. “Now is the time to give them relief and support,” he said. Senator Joel Villanueva also said that the BIR should also be accommodating to Filipino entrepreneurs.

On June 1, the BIR issued Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 60-2020 which requires online business owners to register and pay taxes until July 31.

The directive stirred complaints from netizens and online sellers, explaining that most sellers are just trying to find sources of income and put food on the table for their families amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The BIR targets all online sellers which include “not only partner sellers/merchants, but also other stakeholders involved such as the payment gateways, delivery channels, Internet service providers, and other facilitators.”

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