BIR to roll out alcohol tax stamps this year
MANILA, Philippines-After years of delay, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) this year planned to start affixing tax stamps on alcoholic drinks to better monitor excise payments just like the scheme on cigarettes.
The list of the BIR’s priority programs and projects issued by Internal Revenue Commissioner Caesar Dulay on Thursday (Jan. 20) included the integration of the alcohol industry in the enhanced internal revenue stamps integrated system (Irsis).
The BIR said it wanted to develop a secure tax stamp for alcohol products.
Products affixed with tax stamps meant that their manufacturers and importers paid correct excise prior to sale.
Beyond tax stamps, the BIR also wanted to tap Irsis as a means to monitor alcohol manufacturers’ production volumes, removals from factories, as well as stamp inventory, to track taxable goods.
The BIR is currently implementing an enhanced Irsis for tobacco products, which upgraded into a web-based application its information system managing the ordering, production, distribution, affixing, monitoring as well as tracking of cigarette tax stamps.
The BIR’s large taxpayers service (LTS) had been tasked with coming up with tax stamps for alcohol, which had been in the pipeline as far back as the tenure of former BIR chief Kim Jacinto-Henares in the previous Benigno Aquino III administration.
Another round of excise hikes greeted consumers of cigarettes, electronic cigarettes and vapes, and alcoholic drinks in 2022 under two “sin” tax laws signed by President Rodrigo Duterte before the COVID-19 pandemic struck.
The government targeted revenues from cigarettes and e-cigarettes as well as alcohol amounting to P199.6 billion for cigarettes and P94.8 billion for e-cigarettes this year.
The government needed to raise more revenues to finance the universal health care (UHC) program being implemented by the state-run Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).
In all, the BIR had been tasked with collecting P2.43 trillion in taxes this year.
Deputy Internal Revenue Commissioner Arnel Guballa on Thursday said the BIR has yet to finalize its actual 2021 collections figures, although the BIR targeted a P2.08-trillion tax take last year.
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