A local Department of Trade Industry (DTI) official on Wednesday clarified that barter of goods is legal and not subject to tax collection after confusion erupted over the agency’s earlier statement regarding the issue.
Barter trade, transactions in which instead of money, people purchase goods and services by exchanging items, grew in popularity in Bohol amid the imposition of community quarantine measures due to the pandemic.
According to DTI Bohol consumer protection group head Joe Hibaya, online barter of goods is not subject to tax collection as long as transactions are personal in nature and not conducted as a business.
“Ang barter per se, legal man g’yud siya. So ang operative word ra g’yud ana na gipa-clarify ni Sec. Mon [Ramon Lopez] is as long as it is not done on a regular trade or in the course of trade and business, dili siya covered og tax,” he said.
“Kanang mga gipangbuhat karon sa mga taw na magbarter-barter og mga personal na mga butang, kanang uban karon hobby ra, personal ra na innovation sa what is ongoing karong pandemic time,” he added.
Hibaya noted that businesses with aggregate sales of less than P3 million per year are also not subject to registration and covered by Value Added Tax.
The clarifications from the DTI were issued after Lopez drew flak on social media after saying that the DTI will go after online barter.
Barter is the oldest form of trade but the system has recently gained popularity as many people are unable visit markets and other retail outlets due to quarantine policies.
In Bohol, several barter communities have been established including the Bohol Barter Community and Bohol Barter Market which have thousands of members. (A. Doydora)