BIR sets tighter monitoring of cigarette firm
MANILA, Philippines–The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has ordered a 24-hour monitoring of a Bulacan-based cigarette maker to ensure collection of proper taxes.
During a hearing of the joint Congressional Oversight Committee on the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program (COCTRP) Wednesday, BIR assistant commissioner for Large Taxpayers Service Alfredo Misaujon said Mighty Corporation’s factory and warehouses in Malolos, Bulacan, are now being monitored by BIR agents “24/7” to prevent illegal removals of cigarettes from the company premises.
The firm, which manufactures popular low-priced brands Mighty Filter Kings and Mighty Menthol, is the subject of a BIR inquiry on orders of the Department of Finance (DoF). The company was cited by the DoF for alleged illicit importation of tobacco leaf and alleged non-payment of proper excise taxes.
Committee chair Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara said the committee welcomes BIR’s strict monitoring following reports of alleged smuggling and tax evasion by the Bulacan-based cigarette maker.
He said the firm has been the subject of several news reports which prompted the DoF to call for its investigation.
Misaujon assured lawmakers that the DoF-ordered probe on Mighty is proceeding smoothly. He requested not to divulge details of the investigation as the BIR continues to gather evidence to determine Mighty’s tax liabilities, he said.
As this developed, Bureau of Customs (BoC) OIC for Financial Services Cecil Soriano said Mighty’s importation permit for tobacco and other raw materials has been suspended since January after the bureau uncovered a discrepancy in the volume of imported tobacco and cigarette filters as against the volume of cigarettes the company produced.
Soriano said the suspension order was issued by customs commissioner John Philip Sevilla due to Mighty’s alleged failure to show how it was able to produce large quantities of cigarettes despite minimal purchases of local tobacco leaves.
He added that Mighty’s Customs Bonded Warehouse was also ordered closed while a thorough investigation is ongoing.
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