Members of the provincial board have approved a resolution strongly opposing the mandatory registration of online sellers and other digital entrepreneurs to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to be included in the formal economy and be tax compliant.

They also requested the Bureau to postpone the July 31 deadline to next year for those earning yearly profits that are already taxable.

Board member David Francis Ponce de Leon, author of the approved resolution, said the BIR’s circular is “untimely” because the individuals selling online are those whose incomes have been greatly affected by the coronavirus disease pandemic.

“It might even be just temporary activities for online sellers until they find more stable jobs. These online sellers just want to put food on their table,” he said.

Based on Revenue Memorandum Circular (RMC) No. 60-2020 entitled “Obligation of Persons Conducting Business Transactions Through Any Forms of Electronic Media and Notice to Unregistered Business”, every business should be registered and consequently pay taxes.

Ponce de Leon said the BIR should also postpone the deadline until next year so that the online sellers or individuals conducting business transactions through digital or electronic means will be able to prepare for their registration.

“As of this time, the province is still under the quarantine, we are discouraging people to go outside, moreover, some of them are in the far-flung islands which will cost them to travel. [They] need much more time to comply with it. It will be more difficult for them to process all the requirements needed for their registration with the July 31, 2020 deadline,” he said.

In a recent interview of Palawan News with revenue district officer (RDO) Lorenzo delos Santos of RDO No. 36-Puerto Princesa, he said they are expecting registration of the online sellers in Palawan after the release of the RMC.

He noted that the order would help them to take action to secure the tax compliance of businesses involving digital transactions.

“Iyon ang ini-expect namin kasi with the [RMC] kapag nalaman na nag-i-engage ka dyan, meron na kaming ngipin ngayon kasi that is already a requirement. Meron na kaming ngipin, hindi na kami mag-aatubili na gumawa ng action kasi meron na kaming guidelines lalo na kasi meron ng RMC na in-issue,” he said.

“We are expecting na magkakaroon niyan, di naman siguro marami pero magkakaroon ng start ng registration,” Delos Santos added.

This not only includes partner sellers and merchants but also “other stakeholders involved such as payment gateways, delivery channels, internet service providers, and other facilitators”.