MANILA, Sept 16 (Bloomberg): The Philippines is checking initially 250 social media influencers if they are paying their taxes as the government seeks to plug revenue leaks amid rising debt.
Letters for investigation were sent to social media endorsers who are top earners in their field, the finance department said in a statement on Thursday, citing a report from the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
"We will do the investigation so that they would pay the necessary corresponding tax on their earnings,” said Arnel Guballa, deputy commissioner at the revenue agency.
A circular issued last month clarified that influencers must pay income and value added tax from their earnings including from YouTube’s Partner Program, sponsored social posts, advertising and sales.
Goods received in exchange for promotions must also be declared as income using the products’ fair market value, the finance department said.
The Sout-East Asian nation is looking at ways to cut debt such as broadening its sources of revenues, without introducing new taxes, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said in April. - Bloomberg