Parañaque POGO shut down for tax payment failure

Branches of the large POGO called New Oriental Club88 Corporation (NOCC) were shut down by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) after it was discovered that they had not registered to pay taxes.

Makati-based NOCC is registered as a customer relations service provider and live studio streaming provider. Its Parañaque offices were not, however, registered with the BIR’s district office.

BIR Deputy Commissioner for Operations Group Arnel Guballa served the closure order and padlocked the NOCC branches in the city. “They will not be allowed to resume business unless deficiencies are corrected and the estimated PHP1 billion tax debts paid,” he declared.

Based on BIR records, NOCC had 24 branches registered with the Pagcor, but it only had 12 registered with BIR. In total, the firm employs more than 23,000 foreigners, most of them Chinese.

This was the third POGO closure following similar BIR actions in September and October. In both of those cases, the POGOs were able to reopen after paying their tax debts.

A bill pending before the House of Representatives seeks to tax POGOs at 5 percent of gross receipts, plus personal income taxes for the foreign employees.