Tax on Google Adsense payment via Western Union

James Ryan Jonas

Got my Google Adsense earnings via Western Union last week and like what we reported here last month, they are now charging the Documentary Stamps Tax on all incoming remittances.

The deduction was exactly 0.15% of my payment balance. It’s still not that much — just P1.50 for every P1,000 — but it’s still money I could have spent for myself.The tax is levied on all incoming remittances from abroad. It is supposedly not a new tax but is just an implementation of an old tax regulation, specifically, Section 181 of the 1997 Tax Code and Regulations which states that “a documentary stamp tax shall be imposed on any bill of exchange or order for payment purporting to be drawn in a foreign country but payable in the Philippines.”

Remittances coursed through banks are not subject to the 0.15% tax because they are already collecting this.

Did you notice this deduction when you picked up a recent Western Union remittance?

James Ryan Jonas teaches business management, investments, and entrepreneurship at the University of the Philippines (UP). He is also the Executive Director of UP Provident Fund Inc., managing and investing P3.2 Billion ($56.4 Million) worth of retirement funds on behalf of thousands of UP employees.