Philippine Daily Inquirer - - BUSINESS - By Ben O. de Vera @ben­de­v­er­aINQ

The Bu­reau of In­ter­nal Rev­enue col­lected P6 bil­lion dur­ing the first quar­ter from the ex­cise tax slapped on sug­ary drinks even as the coun­try’s big­gest tax-col­lec­tion agency has yet to come out with the guide­lines for the new levy.

In­ter­nal Rev­enue Com­mis­sioner Cae­sar R. Du­lay told re­porters that the ex­cise tax col­lec­tions from sugar-sweet­ened bev­er­ages “con­trib­uted a lot” to the BIR’s first-quar­ter tax take.

The BIR ear­lier re­ported that its end-March col­lec­tions reached P422.6 bil­lion, up 14 per­cent from P370.6 bil­lion a year ago.

The BIR ex­ceeded its firstquar­ter tar­get of P361.8 bil­lion by 16.8 per­cent.

This was the first time that the BIR col­lected ex­cise taxes from sug­ary bev­er­ages as man­dated un­der the Tax Re­form for Ac­cel­er­a­tion and In­clu­sion (TRAIN) Act.

Signed by Pres­i­dent Duterte in De­cem­ber, Repub­lic Act No. 10963 or the TRAIN Law since Jan. 1 this year jacked up or slapped new ex­cise taxes on oil, cig­a­rettes, sug­ary drinks and ve­hi­cles, among other goods, to com­pen­sate for the re­struc­tured per­sonal in­come tax regime that raised the tax-ex­empt cap to an an­nual salary of P250,000.

Of the BIR’s P2.04-tril­lion col­lec­tion goal for 2018, ex­cise taxes are pro­grammed to ac­count for P309.2 bil­lion.

Depart­ment of Fi­nance es­ti­mates in Jan­uary pegged at P52.03 bil­lion the to­tal amount of taxes that must be col­lected from sugar-sweet­ened bev­er­ages this year.

In­ter­nal Rev­enue Deputy Com­mis­sioner Marissa O. Cabreros told

re­porters that the draft rev­enue reg­u­la­tions ( RR) for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the ex­cise tax on sugar-sweet­ened drinks were still await­ing ap­proval of the Depart­ment of Fi­nance.

“You must un­der­stand that the sugar-sweet­ened bev­er­age tax is new—it’s the first time to be part of the ex­cise tax fam­ily or tax struc­ture, so it’s be­ing re­fined. There are sev­eral con­sul­ta­tions be­ing made with the stake­hold­ers be­cause we don’t want to be over­bur­dened with some­thing that is not re­al­is­tic and we can­not im­ple­ment. At the same time, we want to make it eas­ier for them to com­ply and also eas­ier for us to mon­i­tor and ver­ify their re­port­ing,” Cabreros ex­plained.

De­spite the lack of an RR, Cabreros noted that the BIR at the start of the year al­ready re­leased the new ex­cise tax form to be filled up by man­u­fac­tur­ers.

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