Court orders BIR to refund San Miguel Brewery P761-M

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 19 2017 07:08 PM | Updated as of Jun 20 2017 09:31 AM

MANILA - The Court of Tax Appeals has ordered the Bureau of Internal Revenue to either refund or issue a tax credit certificate worth P761 million to San Miguel Brewery, manufacturer of the beer brand San Mig Light. 

"Respondent is hereby ordered to refund or to issue a tax credit certificate in favor of petitioner the amount of ₱761,063,826.70 representing overpayment of excise taxes or San Mig Light removals from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012," the CTA said in its June 9 decision penned by Justice Caesar Casanova. 

The issue stemmed from the re-classification of San Mig Light as a "new brand" instead of being a mere "variant" of San Miguel Pale Pilsen. 

Because of the re-classification, San Miguel Brewery claimed it was overtaxed by P761 million from their San Mig Light beer sales from its five plants. 

The BIR however maintained San Mig Light is a variant of San Miguel Pale Pilsen citing its marketing slogan as "same beer alcohol yet it's less filling." 

But the CTA said that it has "consistently ruled that San Mig Light is a new brand and not a variant, thus subject to the excise tax of ₱15.49 per liter instead of ₱20.57 per liter." 

"There was an erroneous, excessive and/or illegal assessment and collection in the amount of ₱5.08 per liter," the CTA said.