Philippines lower house approves VAT for big tech firms

The Philippines’ lower house of Congress has approved a bill imposing taxes on tech giants like Facebook, Alphabet’s Google and Youtube, and Netflix.

Voting 167-6-1, lawmakers late on Tuesday approved on third and final reading a bill imposing a 12% value-added tax (VAT) on digital transactions in the Philippines.

It will require foreign-based digital service providers to assess, collect and remit VAT on the transactions that go through their platform.

In July 2020, a lower house committee approved the bill, which will tax firms that provide digital service or goods through an online platform. A similar bill has been submitted to the Senate.

The bill aims to raise 29 billion pesos ($579 million) to help fund government measures to fight the coronavirus.

The Philippines is a growing market for big tech firms, withFilipinos among the heaviest social media users in the world.

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