Power firms told to remit VAT to gov't immediately

by Kathleen A. Martin, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Nov 02 2012 09:42 AM | Updated as of Nov 02 2012 10:33 PM

 MANILA, Philippines - There will be no additional charges to electricity consumers, after the Bureau of Internal Revenue asked power firms such as Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) to immediately remit previously collected VAT over the years.

"Wala po silang (power firms) babayarang surcharge ... so dapat wala din silang i-charge sa consumers," BIR Commissioner Kim Jacinto-Henares said on dzMM's Failon Ngayon, Friday.

"Saka kung sila ang may kasalanan kung bakit hindi sila nagremit, bakit nila ipapasa sa consumer yan e hindi naman kasalanan yan ng consumer," she added.

The BIR last month ordered power firms to immediately remit the VAT they previously collected from consumers.

Henares said her agency estimates around P2 billion to 4 billion unremitted VAT was already collected by the entire power sector from customers over the years.

"That's the only industry (power sector) wherein they already collected the VAT pero hindi nila nireremit agad sa gobyerno. Hinihintay nilang mabuo lahat ng collection bago iremit," Henares explained.

Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 62-2012 changed this policy as power firms are now tasked to remit VAT immediately after collection.

Henares noted that they have no reason not be able to do so as VAT is already included in paying consumers' monthly bills.