BIR shuts down 7 POGO-linked firms, restaurants in Las Piñas for unpaid taxes

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The shutdown covers restaurants in Las Piñas mostly catering to Chinese workers in the POGO industry.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 3) — The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) shut down seven establishments for unpaid value-added taxes, including restaurants mainly serving Chinese workers in Las Piñas.

In a statement, the agency's South NCR unit said it padlocked seven establishments which mainly cater to employees of Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs).

The so-called "POGO restaurants" Young Restaurant and Shinedeligo Corp. were shut down for failing to remit the right VAT to the BIR.

Meanwhile, the five other establishments covered by the closure order were apparently not registered with the tax bureau. These are Jazzy Sam Videoke & Grill, Janna-Hissa Catering Services, Bottleground, Bigsun Food Stop, and Society Eight Lifestyle Concept Store, whose operations are temporarily suspended.

"The establishments are said to be allied services to POGO operations since they predominantly serve the Chinese nationals employed by the latter," the BIR said on Thursday.

The shutdowns stemmed from the BIR South NCR's Tax Compliance Verification Drive, which targeted nighttime businesses operating in the area.

The BIR said the stores were given a 48-hour notice and a five-day window for VAT compliance, but these firms did not settle their dues.