DoF expects BIR to file more cases vs Mighty Corp

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THE Department of Finance (DoF) said the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) may slap more criminal cases against local cigarette manufacturer Mighty Corp. as it also looks into the audits of the company’s operations over the last five years.

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“We’re also reviewing past audits,” Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd said when asked for an update on BIR’s investigation on Mighty Corp.

Dominguez said BIR Commissioner Caesar Dulay mentioned that the bureau is reviewing the audits on Mighty Corp. starting 2012.

“So there’s more, I think,” Dominguez said, when asked if Mighty Corp. can expect more cases from the BIR following the audit review.

To recall, the BIR has already filed three separate criminal complaints against Mighty Corp. totaling P37.82 billion for unlawful possession of articles subject to excise tax without payment of the tax, and for possession of false, counterfeit, restored or altered stamps.

“Maybe they will now be encouraged to see the light? For us, it’s the job of our department to make sure that taxes are all collected. So if we see something, we file a case. So we will file a complaint,” he added.

Dominguez also said Mighty Corp. has asked for another 15-day extension to reply to a BIR letter seeking its explanation on why the government should not shut down their operations.

“They asked for [an]extension. But that is the due process. That’s the law, so you have to follow,” he said.

The DoF said over the weekend that it will double its efforts in raising enough revenues to enable the government to build more hospitals and provide quality, affordable healthcare to Filipinos by closely monitoring the tax compliance of other cigarette manufacturers.

It said it is keeping tabs on other cigarette manufacturers that could possibly be guilty of using fake cigarette tax stamps or other fraudulent practices that enable them to dodge paying the correct amount of taxes to the government.

“I’m telling you, we’re looking at making sure that everybody pays the right taxes. And since a lot of taxes are generated by the cigarettes, there’s a bigger chance that there’s cheating there, right? So just use [the]80-20 law—80 percent of your progress comes from 20 percent of the population, so you focus on the 20 percent,” he said.

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