Filipinos Being Taxed from Playing Axie Infinity is a Good Thing

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Disclaimer: None the ideas stated here should be taken as professional financial or legal advice. It’s just my opinion on the subject and I highly encourage you to do your own research from credible official sources.

Taxes will be part of anything as long as there is money moving into the space. We had it coming from the snowballed publicity the game has been having in the local scene for months. Play to earn from games aren’t a new concept, they’ve been around before crypto was a thing and it just boomed due to how accessible these money making opportunities are accessible to the public and probably with the help of the pandemic making people seek out unconventional sources of cash flow.

Now anyone can have their own entitled opinions about hating these taxes imposed. The most common responses are opposition to the idea of being taxed from earning from the game and giving their earned money to the corrupt government. I don’t know about you but I’ve gone passed the argument that corruption exists in the government and just accepted it as part of the norm. No matter how much one would hate the idea that their money goes off to the pockets of the corrupt politicians, part of the budget still delivers the services necessary to keep a functioning society. Anyway, discussing that is beyond what this post is about.

I think people are forgetting the fact that it’s still publicity for play to earn crypto games. Philippines isn’t exactly on top of things when it comes to laws regulating cryptocurrency to begin with. So some talks about regulations can stir some public attention to be curious and onboard more people into the cryptospace. By acknowledging that people are getting rich from trading digital assets at the leisure, the government is also acknowledging the economic impact crypto has to its citizens and this could push more laws that could help make it easier for crypto adoption in the country for better or worse.

For some that are still unconvinced that registering yourself as a gamer or cryptotrader when filing taxes is a good thing, I can get some of the hate from the informal economy. You see, a lot of people here have low financial literacy and can’t even do basic budgeting. You can’t expect them to care about complicated taxes because most don’t think about these when their salary is below the minimum taxable income. There are a lot of under reported cases of digital freelancers not being taxed appropriately with reasons that come from not understanding how taxes work to intentionally avoiding taxes.

I would love some clarity on how the local BIR would handle taxes from play to earn games so that I could make informed decisions when filing for my taxes with a peace of mind. Most people Filipinos don’t have a clue how to compute their taxes because they rely on private or government accountants to do the math for them, but for freelancers that have yet to grow a clue about how to file their taxes, it would be a pain in the ass to be told you committed tax evasion without fully understanding how to document your salary paid in crypto or earnings from a cryptogame.

The play to earn model is a wild west and there are no clear guidelines on how to proceed as far as I know. What if some grade school student happens to open an account on a cryptogame and started earning some digits enough to qualify them within taxable range? I’m sure there’s an existing answer out there somewhere but I’d appreciate more official memorandums from the local government to dumb down these concepts for the layperson that gives into these hypes.

If Axie Infinity has gained enough attention to be under the Philippine government’s radar, it would be interesting to them make public statements about other Hive games we got going here for extra publicity. Ever since that article published by bitpinas about Splinterlands went viral I noticed a rise in Filipino players on the game. Not actively blogging but playing the game and sharing news about it on facebook groups.

This news is an indirect endorsement and publicity boost despite triggering some players enjoy their income while tax free.

Here are some additional sources you may be interested in while on the subject:
After influencers, BIR tells Axie Infinity players to register and pay taxes
Axie Infinity earnings subject to tax, BIR tells gamers
Axie Infinity earnings subject to tax—DOF

If you made it this far reading, thank you for your time.

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