BIR collects P6B from sugary drinks tax in Q1 2018
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has collected P6 billion from the excise tax slapped on sugary drinks in the first quarter of 2018.
This developed even as the country’s biggest tax-collection agency has yet to come up with the guidelines for the new tax under the Duterte administration’s tax reform package that took effect last January.
BIR Commissioner Caesar R. Dulay told reporters on Tuesday that the excise tax collections from sugar-sweetened beverages “contributed a lot” to the agency’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.
As such, the BIR exceeded its first-quarter target of P361.8 billion by 16.8 percent.
This was the first time 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 has jacked up or imposed new excise taxes on oil, cigarettes, sugary drinks, and vehicles, among other goods, since January 1, 2018 in order 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 P2.039-trillion collection goal for 2018, excise taxes are programmed to account for P309.2 billion.
Department of Finance (DOF) estimates in January pegged at P52.03 billion the total amount of taxes that must be collected from sugar-sweetened beverages this year.
BIR Deputy Commissioner Marissa O. Cabreros told reporters also on Tuesday that the draft revenue regulations for the implementation of the excise tax on sugar-sweetened drinks are still awaiting approval of the DOF.
“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 revenue regulations, however, Cabreros noted that the BIR has already released the new excise tax form to be filled up by manufacturers. /kga
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