If you are a BPI user, make sure to double check your transactions, particularly foreign ones, as the bank updated on which foreign transactions are covered by the additional 1% assessment fee. In the advisory issued on February 1, BPI states that its 1% assessment fee also covers online subscription services like Netflix, Google, Apple, Spotify and more.
While we think that the additional fee for online services like Netflix is part of the government’s recent mandate to tax online services, it seems that BPI is one of the few banks that is imposing the additional 1% charge. Local BDO cards and Security Bank are also imposing the additional 1% charge as well.
According to some posts we spotted on Twitter/X, other banks like Unionbank/Citi don’t have the additional 1% charge as long as it is under Php 1000. We can vouch for this, as our Citibank card did not charge us any additional fees for our Netflix and Apple Music subscription.
Others go around the additional 1% charge by changing their payment method to GCash.
- BIR Wants to Impose Taxes on Online Sellers By December
- Finance Chief Backs Taxes on Digital Transactions
It remains to be seen if these loopholes on avoiding the additional 1% fee will stay throughout the year, so expect to pay more for any of your online subscription services eventually.
To recall, then-DoF Secretary Benjamin Diokno justified adding taxes to digital transactions, citing that it is just fair to tax them just like when you buy products from regular stores.
“Dapat magkaroon ng tax, especially medyo — if you really think about it ‘yung mga nakakaangat ang siyang nakakakuha ng mga ganyan, digital payment. So on the basis of fairness, I think they should be taxed,” Diokno said.