BIR warns tobacco firms: Put tax stamps or else

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 18 2015 09:17 PM | Updated as of Jun 19 2015 06:56 AM

MANILA – The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is reminding tobacco manufacturers, importers and distributors that their products must have tax stamps.

BIR issued an advisory Thursday after some untaxed cigarette packs were discovered in Nueva Ecija.

“All manufacturers, importers and distributors of cigarettes are hereby reminded to strictly comply with the requirement of affixture of internal revenue stamps,” the tax agency said.

“All wholesalers and retailers are likewise reminded to purchase only cigarette packs with authorized tax stamps,” it added.

The BIR earlier seized boxes of untaxed local and imported cigarettes in a raid in Nueva Ecija, which insiders said is the biggest haul since the BIR re-imposed the affixing of tax stamps this year.

Under the BIR regulation, all cigarettes whether locally manufactured or imported shall be affixed with internal revenue stamps effective April 1, 2015.

“Therefore, as of this date, all cigarettes in the production and storage facilities as well as in the domestic market must bear the required internal revenue stamps,” the BIR said.

Cigarettes without the required internal revenue taxes will be confiscated and forfeited, and the appropriate criminal action will be filed without prejudice to the assessment and collection of proper excise taxes.

BIR said on-the-spot surveillance of cigarette products will be conducted either in the place of production, storage facilities, or in the retail market to monitor compliance.

Tax code offenders face jail time of up to eight years and a fine of P50,000 for not using the tax stamps.