BIR prepares to affix tax stamps on alcohol products
THE BUREAU of Internal Revenue (BIR) is seeking recommendations from the private sector on how to implement the tax stamp system on alcohol products without adding to their costs and affecting their production, Commissioner Kim S. Jacinto-Henares said.
“We are studying how we can put tax stamps during the production process and I have asked manufacturers to give recommendations. It is important that we do not impede production of goods or cause small factories to close down [if doing so is expensive]. It should be technology and capital-neutral,” Henares told reporters last Friday.
The BIR chief admitted that in the case of domestic manufacturers, their assembly line equipment and facilities may not be initially able to accommodate tax stamping. “We don’t want to be blamed for slowing down their production.”
In a Nov. 23 letter to Henares, the European Union-Philippines Business Network’s (EPBN) food and beverage committee said member-companies were “pleased to note that the BIR continues to work toward the expansion of the Internal Revenue Stamps Integrated System (Irsis) to distilled spirits and fermented liquor.”
“We view this as an important step toward increasing compliance across the industry and thus ensuring on the one hand, a level playing field for compliant companies, while increasing the generation of national revenue through a wider tax payer base, on the other,” the EPBN said in their letter, a copy of which was obtained by the Inquirer.
But the EPBN pointed out “the importance of putting in place a system which will not increase barriers to doing business, especially for those companies which have a strong track record of compliance and respect of national laws and regulations.”
The group, which claimed to represent “some of the largest importers of alcoholic beverages in the country” sought closer cooperation with the BIR with regard to the forthcoming roll-out of the Irsis on distilled spirits.
“We hope to have the opportunity not only to share industry views which can support the BIR in creating a business friendly but watertight Irsis system for alcoholic beverages, but also share best practices and experiences from other markets where our members are actively engaged,” it said.
In a related development, Henares disclosed the BIR is currently inspecting alcoholic beverages’ suggested retail prices to determine the ad valorem component of the excise taxes to be slapped on such products, as part of preparations for the eventual implementation of tax stamps on distilled spirits.
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