Philippines’ Supreme Court has ordered the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to stop collecting corporate income tax on the gaming operations of the country’s gaming regulator-cum-operator, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor).
In April 2013, the BIR issued a memorandum circular saying Pagcor and its licensed casino operators were subject to the 30-percent corporate income tax, instead of a 5-percent franchise tax on gross gaming revenue, removing an exemption given to four operators developing casinos at Entertainment City in Manila.
The bureau’s move came after a 2011 ruling of the Supreme Court on the country’s National Internal Revenue Code and the entities exempt from paying corporate income tax – a list in which Pagcor was not included.
In its latest ruling, dated from December 10 but released last week, the Supreme Court said the amendment of the code did not also amend Pagcor’s charter, which provided that income from gaming operations was subject only to the 5-percent franchise tax.
To offset the effects of the bureau’s 2013 decision, Pagcor last year introduced a 10-percent adjustment in licence fees on developments at Entertainment City.
According to media reports, the Supreme Court’s decision only covers the tax treatment on Pagcor’s operations, being mum about the tax on licensees. Bloomberry Resorts and Hotels Inc, the subsidiary of Bloomberry Resorts Corp operating the casino in Manila’s Solaire Resort and Casino, last year filed a court case with the Supreme Court questioning the validity of the April 2013 memo issued by the BIR.
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