On August 16, 2021, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) issued RMC No. 97-2021 or the Taxation of Any Income Received by Social Media Influencers. BIR Commissioner Caesar Dulay signed the revenue memorandum circular after receiving reports that many high income earning social media influencers or celebrities have been remiss in paying their taxes.
They do not declare and pay the proper dues in spite of earning huge amounts on various social media platforms. On top of that, these influencers are not properly registered with the BIR, or they are erroneously registered under a different tax category or line of business. As a result, they are not properly taxed and therefore are actively neglecting their obligations to the country.
The BIR would like to remind everyone that those who do not properly declare their earnings is perpetuating the crime of tax evasion. It is punishable by law because in the Philippines, anyone who earns more than P250,000 annually is required to pay corresponding tax dues based on their income level. Thus, this memorandum circular is the most opportune time to remind social media influencers to be responsible and accountable for their proper business registration and payment of the correct tax dues, may it be personal or business tax.
As such, those famous influencers earning revenue from Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter, or TikTok platforms must take the initiative to register their trade in the nearest Region District Office near their place of business. Thankfully, the Ease of Doing Business Act makes it very easy for anyone to register with the BIR. It can now even be done online, so there is no excuse for anyone to avoid registering with the BIR and paying the correct tax dues.