DTI: Online sellers need to pay licenses, taxes

ALL online sellers need to secure licenses, pay their corresponding taxes and comply with other requirements, same as what owners of regular stores are doing.

This was underscored by Department of Trade and Industry Regional Director Grace Falgi Baluyan during a Special Virtual Forum of the KBP Pangasinan Chapter zoomed in from her office in San Fernando City, La Union on June 18.

“It would be unfair if the storeowners are paying their taxes, whereas the online sellers who may have even bigger capitalization, are not,” said Baluyan.

She said anyone who wants to sell something has a responsibility to the public, she said among such responsibilities is to make his product safe and for him to pay his taxes.

Online sellers proliferated not only in Pangasinan but throughout the country during the community quarantine as members of households found it more convenient buying goods online owing to difficulty and fear of contracting the virus in public places.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, is opposed to it as online selling provided an alternative livelihood to those who cannot go to work and earn a living because of the pandemic.

Baluyan however said that just like store owners, online sellers ought to pay both net income tax and gross sales tax, aside from securing their licenses.

She clarified, however, if the net income of one is below the minimum threshold of P250,000, annually, the online seller is exempted from paying his net income tax, but must still pay gross sales tax.

On the claim that online sellers need not pay taxes since their business is small, she said these cannot be considered as small business unless they register and secure their licenses.

She said since the online sellers are earning from their sales, they should not therefore be interpreted as tax-free.

Paying one’s taxes is one of those responsibilities as the government needs all the taxes that it could collect so that it could provide the growing needs of the people during this time of the pandemic. (Leonardo Micua)

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