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BIR ends short-lived closure of tax-delinquent POGO

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by Allan Yves Briones

Less than a week after revenue officers padlocked the offices of Great Empire Gaming and Amusement Corporation (GEGAC) for tax violations, the nation’s largest collection agency lifted its closure order.

In an order promulgated Tuesday by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Deputy Commissioner Operations Group Arnel Guballa said that GEGAC, one of the largest Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGO), has complied with the agency’s requirements.

“Upon compliance of (GEGAC) to comply with the requirement under Section 236 of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997 (as amended), Order is hereby given lifting the closure of (its) business establishments,” the order stated.

According to BIR Commissioner Caesar Dulay, GEGAC agreed to initially pay P250 million, promising to settle their pending tax delinquencies in the following months.

“I approved recommendation of Pogo Task Force and BIR received payment of P250 million,” Dulay said to the press. “(GEGAC is) allowed to operate and required to update withholding tax payments and register employees.”

Citing Section 115 of the tax code, Guballa signed the lifting order Sept. 27.

Two days prior, BIR issued a closure order against GEGAC, carried out by Task Force POGO, for P1.3 billion in tax liabilities, and for failing to properly register in violation of the tax code.

GEGAC employs over 8,000 employees, most of whom are Chinese, with offices at Subic Freeport, Eastwood, Quezon City and Aseana City, Parañaque.

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