BIR to release sin tax law's IRR next week

by Kathleen A. Martin,

Posted at Dec 21 2012 11:59 AM | Updated as of Dec 22 2012 03:30 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Bureau of Internal Revenue is set to release the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for the newly-signed sin tax law next week, Commissioner Kim Jacinto-Henares said.

"Ilalabas po namin yan next week. Kailangan lumabas ang regulation dahil implementation (ng sin tax law) ay January 1," Henares on Friday told DZMM's Failon Ngayon.

"Next week, we will publish it. Wala na pong public hearing dahil more or less yung batas naman ay maliwanag," she added.

President Benigno Aquino III on Thursday signed the sin tax bill into law. The new measure, which raises taxes on alcohol and tobacco, is slated to be in effect come January 1 next year.

The new taxes levied on the "sin" products will only apply to those fresh from factories or newly-imported ones and will not affect commodities already in stores.

"Yung excise tax iniimpose yan... sa bagong lalabas sa factory o bagong importation... so yung nawithdraw na o old stock na nasa tindahan, hindi na po [bubuwisan] kasi naimpose-an na ho yan," Henares explained.

Moreover, she noted some firms are currently bringing down the prices of cigarettes in hopes of being slapped a lower tax.

"May nakikita kami ngayon na yung mga tao binabagsak yung presyo. Sa palagay ko iniisip nila na pag binagsak nila yung presyo at nag-survey kami e yung retail price niya bababa sa pinakamababang tier," Henares said.

The amount of tax levied on cigarettes and alcohol depends on the price of the product. For example, a cigarette pack priced below P11.50 will be subjected to a P12 tax in the first year of the law's implementation, while a pack worth P11.50 and above will be slapped with a P25 tax.

The tax also gradually increases from 2013 until 2016, before a unitary amount is slapped on both low- and high-end products in 2017.