ASEAN Regulatory Brief: Philippines Banking Regulation, Cambodia SME Tax Incentive, and Indonesia Fintech Sector

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Philippines: Regulation holds banks responsible for late tax payments

The Department of Finance (DOF) on February 15 announced a new rule under the Bureau of Revenue (BIR) which will penalize banks and not taxpayers for late or unremitted tax payments made through credit, debit or prepaid cards. The regulations amends the Revenue Regulation (RR) No. 3-2016 which made taxpayers liable if their authorized agent bank (AAB) failed to pay the BIR their tax payment on time.

The regulation is mainly to benefit self-employed and small business owners who line up for several hours at BIR to pay taxes. As per the new rules, taxes paid by cards will be deemed already paid on the date and time shown on the confirmation receipt issued by AAB. The AAB will then be liable for any delays in depositing to the BIR. The DOF is also pursuing other tax reforms such as lowering personal income tax while raising excise tax and reducing value added tax (VAT)

Professional Service_CB icons_2015 RELATED: Pre-Investment and Market Entry Advisory from Dezan Shira & Associates

Cambodia: Government offers incentives for SMEs registering voluntarily for tax

Cambodia’s government issued Sub-Decree No. 17 ANKr.BK (Sub-Decree 17) on February 7 to provide incentives for businesses volunteering to register for tax. The regulations particularly focuses on SMEs that register during 2017 and 2018. The main incentives are:

  • SMEs that register with the General Department of Taxation (GDT) will be allowed to claim a two year exemption from Tax on Profit (TOP exemption period).
  • During the TOP exemption period, SMEs will be further exempted from the annual 1 percent minimum tax and associated monthly pre-payments.

 Following the TOP exemption period, SMEs will be liable to the standard TOP rates and minimum tax according to those given by the law on taxation. SMEs that register with the GDT must submit and declare their annual tax on profit return during the exemption period and declare and pay any other taxes as per law.

Indonesia: New regulations for fintech companies

Indonesia’s Financial Services Authority (OJK) on February 14 stated that they are preparing a regulation that will allow local financial technology (fintech) firms to directly lend money to customers, an exercise known as on-balance sheet model. Officials have also said that the practice exists but goes unregulated. As per the proposal, OJK will not regulate interest rates but will set maximum limits on loans towards small amount lending. At present, fintech firms act as brokers to match debtors and lenders and are required to be peer-to-peer lenders. The proposed regulation is expected to be released between April and June.


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Asia Briefing Ltd. is a subsidiary of Dezan Shira & Associates. Dezan Shira is a specialist foreign direct investment practice, providing corporate establishment, business advisory, tax advisory and compliance, accounting, payroll, due diligence and financial review services to multinationals investing in China, Hong Kong, India, Vietnam, Singapore and the rest of ASEAN. For further information, please email asean@dezshira.com or visit www.dezshira.com.

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