Filipino freelancers and small business owners from across different industries were among those who were badly hit by the Covid-19 lockdown, according to online tax filing and payment platform Taxumo.
In a report showing the extent of the pandemic’s economic impact, data gathered after the 2019 annual income tax filing deadline on July 15 from Taxumo users revealed that 72.1% of online taxpayers declared a decrease in income after the community quarantine was announced — 30.3% of which had totally no income.
Meanwhile, 19.1% of online taxpayers reported an increase of 65.40% to their monthly income.
Compared to their income in 2018, 62.2% of online taxpayers declared an average of 39.10% decrease in their income. Meanwhile, 37.8% reported the opposite, with an average increase of 192.33% in their 2019 income versus 2018.
Basing on the definition set by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies, 27.9% of online taxpayers can be classified as poor (earning less than P9,520 per month), while 21.9% are lower-income (earning between P9,520 and P19,040 per month). 4.5% of online taxpayers can be considered rich (earning at least P190,400 a month.)
However, Taxumo said these declared incomes may not be representative of their household’s total income as these online taxpayers may be part of dual- or multiple-income households.
In response to the significant drop in earnings, Taxumo said it has launched various efforts to assist its customer base consisting mainly freelancers and small business owners.
One of its new services is Taxumo Lifeline, an affordable subscription package specially designed for people who have zero income and who may be on the brink of closing their businesses.
For P200 a month (paid annually at P2,400/year), taxpayers can fully automate their zero-amount tax forms. This means that they can continue filing their taxes, keeping their business alive until they finally are able to bounce back. They can easily upgrade their subscription should they begin to earn again.
Since its launch, Taxumo has grown to close to 25,000 users in its platform. To date, P723,501,080 in total income and P259,594,260 total expenses have been reported on Taxumo. P24,719,129 in total taxes have been collected from online taxpayers since Taxumo’s inception.
“As the country’s pioneering tax filing and payment platform, Taxumo has been tirelessly assisting small business owners, self-employed professionals, and freelancers easily comply with the business registration and tax rules and regulations,” said EJ Arboleda, founder and CEO of Taxumo.
“Our online platform was built with ease and convenience in mind, and we are constantly innovating our website to help our users focus more on their passion and worry less with their taxes.”