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Pay your tax, socmed influencers told

The BIR has the means to verify their income as it is clothed with a special power to obtain information from its treaty partners

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Social media influencers remain tax liable whether or not they delete their accounts, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said.

“It is not a crime to delete your social media account…Tax evasion is something else,” Dominguez said.

“We will still go after them whether or not they have a social media account because if they earn money and we have evidence that they had money, they have to pay the tax,” he added.

According to him, everybody has to pay tax whatever their source of income is.

Finance Assistant Secretary Dakila Elteen Napao said that as of 15 September 2021, over one hundred social media influencers and creators have already registered with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

“Based on the feedback the BIR gave us, that’s the number of (social) media influencers or content creators that registered with the BIR as of 15 September 2021,” Napao said.

“In terms of those registered as online retailers and service providers, there’s 2,282. We haven’t got the information yet on how much taxes have been collected by the BIR so far (from these individuals),” he added.

The BIR earlier reminded social media personalities to register with the agency as income gained from such activities are covered by the country’s tax laws.

Still, the BIR classifies social media influencers as self-employed individuals or persons engaged in trade or business as sole proprietors hence, the taxability of their income from the digital platform.

“It must be emphasized that the BIR also has the power to obtain information from foreign tax authorities pursuant to the Exchange of Information provision of the relevant tax treaties,” the agency explained in its recent Circular.

“The BIR has the means to verify their income as it is clothed with a special power to obtain information from its treaty partners. The BIR may safely rely on the data provided by its treaty partners to establish the influencer’s tax liability,” it added.

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