Western Union’s Documentary Stamp Tax on remittances

The good news is that the additional 0.15% tax on all incoming overseas remittances was supposed to start May 30, 2008 but, until now, this has not been implemented.

The bad news is that the collection of this tax will start anytime soon.

Last week when I picked up my Google Adsense earnings from Western Union, they told me that the additional Documentary Stamp Tax (DST) tax on remittances will start “sometime this June.”

The tax will affect all incoming remittances from abroad. The charge is 0.15% of the transaction amount or P1.50 for every P1,000 remittance.

It may not be a lot but Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) have the right to complain because it’s still money that could have been enjoyed by their families in the Philippines.

According to Western Union, this tax is not really new 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.”

That means it will affect all remittances via Western Union coming from an overseas sender — and that includes payments from Google Adsense. Ouch.

Remittances coursed through banks, however, are not subject to the 0.15% tax because they are already collecting this since the tax ruling was approved.

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12 thoughts on “Western Union’s Documentary Stamp Tax on remittances”

  1. How about checks, James? My biggest clients pay by check. If they are included, how am I supposed to pay the tax when I’ll deposit them to a bank account?

  2. correct me if im wrong but .15% is just 15 cents per $100 or six pesos and seventy five cents. just a little contribution to our economy.

  3. That’s a bad news. But I think, this is a way we could help now our country in this crisis. I also receive my AdSense Earnings through WU. And it is sad because 0.15% of our earnings will be taken. But I think that the percentage of the charge of remittances is really fine. But it would suck if they’ll increase it on the future.

    Robert Manceltia, Jr.

  4. .15% is a very small amount and I could care less about contributing to the country. Wether it goes to the government or not..my concern and my first priority is for my family who, I send the money to; who is always in dire need hence, the monthly wiring I do through Western Union which I find to be very reliable. The problem I find about this 15%, eventhough it is a very small amount is that, when the government takes something from it’s people who strive so hard to earn a living…sacrificing so much for their love ones for their future and they can’t seem to do as much for their own people to alleviate their way of living in their own Native land. It is sad to think that most of the Filipinos feel bad about living in the Philippines due to the fact that there are not enough job opportunities back home although it is undeniable that it is one of the greatest and most magnificent places to live in and that it is very hard to leave family members whom you long to be with every single time of your life.

  5. well ritz, I totally agree with u. this amount only “seems” to go the govt, most of the people is using WU, how much would govt get out of all?!! just look at PHilippines, look at the roads, thats how govt uses the tax we pay! and look at the poor people, the squatters, govt is not doing anything to help, they are just here for the money, and suck money out of the poor hard working people. they are trying to squeezing the last bitter lemon from the people!

  6. My dream retirement is living on a 45ft center cockpit Hunter sailboat with my man and dog sailing the inter coastal waterways, the Caribbean, and any port I choose.

  7. I really like getting the letters, but please don’t go telling folks they are likely for getting about just one a week. I have been lucky to obtain one particular a month. You need to do a little better than that….or prevent the pinocchio stories at the extremely least. If just one a month is what it is, then that is what it is.


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