MANILA The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) is set to earn revenue of up to PHP1-billion from various lottery games due to the 20-percent tax on lottery winnings set by the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law.
This was bared by PCSO General Manager Alexander Balutan.
While the agency is still awaiting the betting public's reaction to the new tax law, Balutan explained the important thing is that the taxes will automatically go to the charity fund, which will be given out to the needy.
The winnings on the lottery games such as Lotto, Ken, Small Town Lottery, and Sweepstakes are affected by the 20-percent tax law.
Sa buwan-buwan na ipinapatong sa [PCSO] na tax, nang kinompyut namin dati-rati ang ibinibigay namin na tax mula sa lahat ng atinglottery games ay PHP500 million. Ngayon, aabot na ng PHP1 billion (On a monthly basis, we have computed that in the past, taxes coming from the lottery games reach around PHP500 million. Now it can reach to P1 billion), Balutan said in ambush interview on Monday.
The TRAIN law imposes 20-percent tax on all prizes from the PCSO's lottery games worth PHP10,000 and above.
Last Friday, two lucky bettors won and shared the whopping PHP331,971,464 jackpot in the PCSO's Ultra Lotto 6/58 draw. The winners are now subject to the new tax law.
Wala na tayong magawa, batas na 'yan. Ang problema lang, ma-dissuade ang betting public na hindi na tumaya. Pero ang katwiran ng ating mga mambabatas, windfall 'yan. Kung nanalo ka ng PHP100 million ibigay mo na sa gobyerno 'yung PHP20 million, masaya ka pa rin(We cannot do anything about it because it is now a law. The problem is simply it may dissuade the betting public. But the explanation of lawmakers is windfall. If you win PHP100 million and you give P20 million to the government, you can still be happy), Balutan said.
TRAIN, which was signed into law by President Duterte last December 19, was the first package of the government's proposed Comprehensive Tax Reform Program (CTRP), seen to generate additional revenue to fund the country's investment requirements.
It exempts those with an annual income of PHP250,000 and below from personal income tax and imposes excise taxes on petroleum products, automobiles, and sugar-sweetened beverages in order to offset revenue losses from lowering personal income taxes.
Due to the CTRP, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) earlier said the country's real gross domestic product (GDP) would be higher by 0.5 to 1.1 percent by year 2022.
Balutan believes that the betting public has renewed its confidence to the new leadership of PCSO as evidenced by the increasing revenues.
Balutan said the PHP1-billion tax could be higher based on revenue projections of PCSO this year that could reach up to PHP60 billion or more.
With the aggressive expansion of our Small Town Lottery (STL), having more than 81 Authorized Agent Corporations (AACs) now playing nationwide, and our Lotto games continue to progress with more than 10,000 outlets nationwide and more outlets to be created, PCSO is becoming a very potent tax contributor to the coffers of the national government, the former Marine general said.
For instance, the January sales of the expanded STL posted PHP1.87 billion from PHP1.7 billion last December 2017, a 103.96 percent increase from the sales of the same month last year.
In 2017 alone, PCSO reported an earning of almost PHP53 billion, a quantum leap from the PHP39 billion earning in 2016. Very crucial was the STL revenues that posted almost PHP16 billion from a mere PHP4.7 billion yearly from the two previous administrations.
Balutan and former PCSO chairman Jose Jorge Corpuz expanded the AACs from 18 to 56 and then to 83 at the end of 2017. The PCSO board had approved a total of 92 AACs.
Source: Philippine News Agency