Govt. eyeing tax on digital transactions, single-use plastics

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 8) — The administration plans to tax digital transactions and single-use plastics as part of efforts to shore up revenues, the Finance chief said on Friday.

Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno also told a media briefing of the Cabinet-level Development Budget Coordination Committee that digitalization will be one of the efforts to improve tax administration.

“On the basis of fairness, we intend to tax online purchases. If you buy a product from a regular store, you pay tax. I think you should also pay a tax if it’s online sales,” he said, adding that the public can expect this sooner than later.

“You better take advantage of your [tax-] free Netflix subscriptions. It’s only fair to tax those, right?” he added.

The House of Representatives passed in September 2021 a bill imposing a 12% value-added tax on online transactions. It failed to hurdle the Senate, and eventually the previous 18th Congress.

Diokno further said taxing single-use plastics is in line with the commitment to climate change action. The Philippines is the third largest contributor to plastics waste.

The economic managers slightly lowered growth targets this year to 6.5%-7.5% from 7%-8%. The economy expanded by 8.3% in the first quarter.