MANILA – The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) will be keeping a close eye on the implementation of cigarette tax stamps after the deadline for the mandatory use of the tax stamps has elapsed.
BIR Commissioner Kim Henares said a monitoring team will look into the compliance of tobacco firms in implementing the Internal Revenue Stamps Integrated System (IRSIS).
“I think everyone is complying because nobody is complaining. I’m not getting any complaints coming from the public, but I will tell our Large Taxpayers Service (LTS) to monitor its implementation,” she said.
The deadline to implement the Internal Revenue Stamps Integrated System expired on March 1, 2015.
Henares said the BIR saw a “significant increase” in excise tax collections in the first quarter, but she noted that the increase in collections was driven by the absence of front-loading late last year.
Front-loading was done by cigarette manufacturers before the IRSIS to avoid the full weight of the tax increase the following year.
“When we implement something, the presumption is everyone is following, we can’t presume people are not following, that’s why we need to monitor,” Henares said.
Local cigarette manufacturers were required starting December 2014 to affix numbered stamps on cigarette packs in an attempt to curb illicit cigarette trade in the local market.
The tax agency earlier reported that excise tax collections from “sin” products reached P50.18 billion in 2014, exceeding the goal of P42.86 billion.
The figure, however, was lower compared to the P51.12 billion collected in 2013.