Sugar-sweetened drinks boost Q1 tax collections


New taxes allowed the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to significantly raise collections from sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) in the first quarter, the agency’s chief said.

“We had collected P6 billion from sugar sweetened beverages. From zero collection, it contributed a lot to our first-quarter performance,” BIR Commissioner Caesar Dulay told reporters.

Under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion law, sugar-sweetened beverages were imposed excise taxes of P6-P12 per liter with exemptions for products such as milk, three-in-one coffee and natural juices.

BIR collections in the first three months of the year totaled P422.587 billion, P60.819 billion more or 16.81 percent higher than its goal of P361.767 billion.

It also posted a growth rate of 14.03 percent compared to the 2017 first quarter take of P370.608 billion.

Meanwhile, BIR Deputy Commissioner Marissa Cabreros said that revenue regulations covering sugary drinks were now being reviewed by the Department of Finance.

She said that crafting the implementing rules for new taxes takes time.

“It’s the first time for them to be part of the excise tax family, or tax structure, so it’s really being refined. There are several consultations being made with the stakeholders because we don’t want to be overburdened with something that is not real and can’t be implemented,” Cabreros said.

“There is consultation … because we want to make it easier for them to comply and also easier for us to monitor and verify their reporting,” she added.

She explained that taxes on sugary drinks were collected using a new excise tax form that identified companies depending on their brands and labels.


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