Philippines lower house okays VAT for big tech firms

Manila, the Philippines. Photo by Aeron Oracion on Unsplash

The Philippines lower house of Congress has approved a bill imposing taxes on tech giants like Facebook, Alphabet’s Google and Youtube, and Netflix.

Voting 167-6-1, lawmakers late on Tuesday approved on third and final reading a bill imposing a 12% value-added tax (VAT) on digital transactions in the Philippines.

It will require foreign-based digital service providers to assess, collect and remit VAT on the transactions that go through their platform.

In July 2020, a lower house committee approved the bill, which will tax firms that provide digital service or goods through an online platform. A similar bill has been submitted to the Senate.

The bill aims to raise 29 billion pesos ($579 million) to help fund government measures to fight the coronavirus.

The Philippines is a growing market for big tech firms, withFilipinos among the heaviest social media users in the world.

Alphabet, Facebook, Netflix, Spotify and Alibaba’s Lazada did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

It follows similar moves by other Southeast Asian countries to generate revenues from popular digital services.

Last year, Indonesia imposed a 10% VAT on sales by technology firms. Early this month, Thailand started collecting VAT from foreign tech companies.

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.