11 July 2017
ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio, House Ways and Means Committee member, on BIR failure to implement excise tax stamps for alcoholic beverages:
We deplore the abject failure of the BIR to implement a system of excise tax stamps for alcoholic beverages. It’s been five years since the enactment of the sin tax law, which mandates that such stamps are affixed on every bottle of locally-produced distilled or fermented beverages, as proof of payment of excise tax. Up to now, not a single bottle sold in the country has the required stamp. This means that the consumer paying the higher price has no assurance that the sin tax actually went to government.
In contrast, such a system has long been in place for tobacco products. Of late, the case of Mighty Corp. has focused attention on the use of counterfeit excise tax stamps for tax evasion purposes, and rightly so.
However, there’s no excuse for the BIR to in effect give perversely preferential treatment to local alcoholic beverage manufacturers by dragging its feet and giving them a free pass on the excise tax stamp requirement.
BIR assures us that they have personnel assigned to every plant and warehouse, making sure that the sin taxes on alcohol are being collected properly. In other words, take our word for it. Obviously, this is not the intent of the law, which is precisely to eliminate opportunities for corruption, negotiation, misreporting, and the like. For as long as stamping of alcoholic beverages is not being implemented, that massive loophole is there to be exploited.
In my view, Congress should not entertain proposals for new taxes for as long as the BIR cannot properly implement existing tax laws. #