BIR: We can go after Sulit, AyosDito and YOU for unregistered, untaxed online sales
The online news portal of TV5
MANILA - The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) will hold operators of buy-and-sell websites liable for any entrepreneur who makes money online without first registering with the bureau and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
"We will file cases against sellers who fail to issue receipts and pay taxes, but we will also file cases against the websites which provide such service," BIR Commissioner Kim Jacinto-Henares said.
She said website operators engaged in buy and sell are similar to that of mall operators that allow entrepreneurs to lease a commercial space in their establishments.
Under Revenue Regulation 12-2011, "it shall be the primary responsibility of all owners or sub-lessors of commercial establishments/buildings/spaces to ensure that the person intending to lease their commercial space is a BIR-registered taxpayer."
"In the same way, if you operate a buy and sell website, you have to make sure that your members or subscribers are registered with us. These websites have to make sure that the sellers are issuing receipts, otherwise, they will also be held responsible," Henares said.
Therefore, operators of websites that failed to verify the BIR registration of its member-entrepreneurs can be jointly sued for tax evasion along with the unregistered tenant.
"It's just a matter of them following what the law provides, and us implementing what the law states," Henares said.
Online traders and sellers usually conduct their transactions through buy-and-sell websites such as sulit.com.ph, ayosdito.ph, ensogo.com and ebay.ph.
"Their businesses should be registered to us, and they should be paying the corresponding taxes. Otherwise, we will run after them," Henares said.
She said the bureau need not issue a revenue regulation requiring online sellers to issue receipts and invoices, since the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC) already mandates sellers and service providers to issue receipts "for each sale or for service valued at P25 or more."
Section 237 of the NIRC provides that "all persons subject to an internal revenue tax shall, for each sale or transfer of merchandise or for services rendered valued at P25 or more, issue duly registered receipts or sales or commercial invoices, prepared at least in duplicate, showing the date of transaction, quantity, unit cost and description of merchandise or nature of service."