MANILA — A leader of the House of Representatives clarified Monday that the registration of an online business with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is for regulation purposes and does not mean it will automatically be taxed.
Valenzuela Rep. Wes Gatchalian, chairman of the House trade and industry committee, said the regulatory action should not be taken as a barrier to business, but an opportunity for growth in terms of access to government programs and incentives.
“The DTI encourages registration of online businesses to ensure consumer protection and to build trust and confidence in the use of these online platforms,” he said. “By legitimizing one’s business through registration, it becomes eligible to avail of loans, subsidies and tax breaks from the DTI and other government agencies.”
House ways and means committee chairman Joey Sarte Salceda has called on DTI and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to encourage micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that trade online to register and become part of the formal economy “so that they can avail of the benefits” in upcoming stimulus programs.
Salceda said tax exemptions under the Barangay Micro Business Enterprises (BMBE) Law, the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law, and the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) should be imposed so that online MSMEs can “become part of the country’s development without excessive burden.”
“Online MSMEs are saviors of the economy in this time of the pandemic… They are actually very effective units for translating the programs under our economic stimulus and recovery plans into tangible growth and dynamism in the real economy,” he said.
“They move faster than most bigger enterprises. They require very little capital to operate. They have been efficient uses of the tangible assets in Filipino households. They employ even stay-at-home mothers. And they encourage people to stay at home,” he added.
Salceda said if more MSMEs are registered and are made eligible for the benefits of the government’s credit stimulus programs, they can be more impactful in increasing the liquidity of the economy.
Salceda estimated that there are one million informal MSMEs doing business online, and that most of them fall under the tax exemption thresholds provided in the law.
The BIR issued Revenue Memorandum Circular (RMC) 60-2020 on June 1 ordering businesses earning income “through the use of any electronic platforms and media, and other digital means” to register and settle taxes on or before July 31.
The tax agency warned that online merchants who fail to meet the deadline would incur penalties. Filane Mikee Cervantes /PNA – northboundasia.com