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BIR: Cigarette tax stamp to include exported packs.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) said that the implementation of tax stamp system on cigarettes will also cover those tobacco products made in the Philippines but intended for the overseas markets.

BIR Commissioner Kim S. Jacinto-Henares said that the tax agency will require local cigarette manufacturers to affix the Philippine government's tax stamp if the product's final destination has no security stamp system yet.

Jacinto-Henares, however, assured that cigarette packs made for foreign markets are not required to pay the local excise tax.

"If the cigarette will be exported to Thailand for example, the manufacturer is no longer required to attach our tax stamp. What they will do is affixed Thailand's own tax seal, which of course, they will get it from the internal revenue of Thailand," Jacinto-Henares said.

"But if the product is destined to a market that has no stamp tax system yet, then BIR will require the manufacturer to affix our own stamp tax at a minimal cost of P0.13 apiece," she added.

Jacinto-Henares said that this scheme will ensure that no cigarette pack intended for the overseas consumers will enter the domestic market without paying the appropriate taxes.

"Once the stamp tax system is fully implemented, it's easier for us to determine which cigarette pack is smuggled or illegally manufactured by simply looking at the pack. This will address the industry's problem on illicit trade," the BIR chief explained.

Jacinto-Henares said the BIR will release its revenue regulation on tax stamp "very soon."

Earlier, the BIR chief said that her bureau along with state-run APO Production Unit Inc. are all set to distribute to local cigarette manufacturers the government's new security stamp.

"Cigarette manufacturers shall get first certification from the BIR that they've paid the excise tax, then APO will give them the new tax stamps, which they will affix on every pack of cigarettes," Jacinto-Henares said.

The BIR chief, however, did not disclose the security features of the P1.7 billion tax stamp project.

"We will keep to ourselves the security features of this stamp so that it won't be compromised," Jacinto-Henares said.

Local cigarette manufacturers and distributors have throw their support to BIR's tax stamp project, but also appealed for reasonable transition periods and are hoping APO will be able to accommodate the entire industry's demand.

Winston cigarette-maker Japan Tobacco International Philippines earlier said that the company will need at least three months lead time to prepare and affix the tax stamps on its cigarette packs.

Under Republic Act 8240, the law that amended sections of the National Internal Revenue Code and took effect in 1997, the government is required to incorporate the revenue stamps on the design of the cigarette packs to curb smuggling and plug tax leakages.

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Title Annotation:Business News
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Geographic Code:9THAI
Date:Jul 14, 2014
Words:459
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