February 25, 2018, 7:44 am
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S  everal companies also attempt at monopoly.

 Two types of firms in the cigarette business seem to have agreed to control a market of their own by underpaying taxes and under-declaring  true value production. 

By so doing, they may have hoped that Lucky Strike, contained in a pack simply labeled “Luckies,” will hardly be ever be noticed by the inveterate smoker.

On the other hand, Mighty Corporation has been forced to pay 200 million pesos from the time the unitary tax was adopted five years ago. 

An American had to resign from his own large paying company to accept the position of chief executive officer and president, a position he might have been promised by his old company, which is one of the oldest operating in the country.

This space has persistently reported that the smaller corporation has been wrongfully declaring its cigarette production to the BIR for the past five years to save hundreds of millions in taxes.    

Finally, it might have occurred to these people to declare or announce an increase in output to additional equipment while obviously under-declaring.

Even a farmer does not raise his costs if he cannot recover incremental costs, and declaring it to the BIR to underpay genuine taxes. 

Under the present system, sums are affixed to what to the naked eye is a payer complying with a unitary system.  

Lucky Strike becomes different from its brother or parents by the fact that they have the word “Luckies” on the pack and on the stick. 

The real  Lucky Strike has only two words: Lucky Strike. 

Why these two brands made by the same company have different price tags and do not conform to the tax structure in 2017 is a wonder. 

When the new and present tax reform was declared operative, they have remained steadfast in maintaining violations.

The word “Lucky,” which appears on the pack and on the flap of the pack, is hardly visible since it is covered by the tax stamp, which then means it is not so visible to the smoker of Luckies and practically everybody who has the habit.

The word “Luckies” is a brand name but it is hidden from the smoker’s attention since it has amassed a huge following from the very beginning. 

Maybe the attention of the BIR has also turned to alcohol, whose taxes have never been questioned subject to the so-called sin products.

The big wonder is why the government is singularly focused against cigarettes and the taxes it pays. They don’t pay the rates that other sin products pay.

In times past, there was no trouble collecting taxes and dampening peoples’ appetites for cigarettes. As years went by I have found two troubles with cigarettes: my father died at 72 from smoking and my brother met the same fate, though he stopped smoking seven years ago.


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