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TRAIN law boosts BIR take.

A combination of higher rates and new levies allowed the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to collect P22.1 billion in excise taxes in January or 7.7 percent above target.

In a statement, the Department of Finance quoted Internal Revenue Commissioner Caesar R. Dulay as saying that excise tax collections at the start of the year exceeded by 81.7 percent the P12.2 billion collected in January last year and surpassed the P20.5-billion goal for the month.

The higher excise tax take in January came on the back of the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act.

Signed by President Duterte in December, the TRAIN law starting Jan. 1 this year jacked up or slapped new excise taxes on oil, cigarettes, sugary drinks and vehicles, among other goods, to compensate for the restructured personal income tax regime that raised the tax-exempt cap to an annual salary of P250,000.

In the case of tobacco excise taxes, Dulay said January collections amounted to P12.1 billion, up 95.9 percent from P6.2 billion in the same month last year and 52.8 percent higher than the P7.9-billion target.

Under the TRAIN law, the unitary excise tax slapped on cigarettes rose to P32.50 a pack effective Jan. 1 from P30 last year.

The TRAIN law also mandated a further increase in the cigarette excise tax rates to P35 a pack from July 1, 2018, to Dec. 31, 2019; P37.50 from Jan. 1, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2021; and P40 from Jan. 1, 2022, to Dec. 31, 2023.

From Jan. 1, 2024 onward, the specific tax rate on tobacco products will be increased by 4 percent yearly.

DOF data showed that the government targeted excise tax collections from cigarettes this year to reach P126.9 billion.

From automobiles, excise taxes reached P443.3 million, exceeding by 29.4 percent the P342.6-million goal and surpassing by 113.1 percent the P208 million collected a year ago.

Collections from sugary drinks amounted to P2.5 billion in January. The excise tax slapped on sugar-sweetened beverages was introduced in the TRAIN law.

Collections from Coca-Cola Femsa Philippines Inc. hit P1.19 billion; Pepsi Cola Philippines Inc., P666 million; ARC Refreshments Corp., P293 million; Nestle Philippines Inc., P143.5 million; Inter Beverages Philippines, P112 million; Asia Brewery Inc., P18 million; Liwayway Marketing, P16 million; SMB Inc., P10.7 million; and Zesto Corp., P7 million.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Feb 27, 2018
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