Cigarette tax stamps fall 59%

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    The cigarette tax stamps issued by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) during the first four months of the community quarantine period posted a 59 percent decline versus its year ago level, according to the Department of Finance (DOF).

    The DOF said in a statement yesterday the BIR released a total of 537.13 million cigarette tax stamps worth P18.88 billion from March to June.

    This represents a 59 percent drop from the 1.32 billion tax stamps valued at P59.46 billion it issued in the same period last year.

    The quarantine period however started mid-March and is still being imposed by the government at varying levels in the country.

    Data shared by the DOF showed the sharpest decrease in cigarette tax stamps released for domestic use during the quarantine period was in May with only 8.57 million cigarette tax stamps worth P299.89 million released, compared with the 385.04 million, worth P17.33 billion, issued in May 2019.

    This represents a 98 percent drop, or 376.47 million tax stamps worth P17.03 billion, the DOF said.

    When Metro Manila and several other areas in the country shifted to the more relaxed general community quarantine in June, the BIR saw a drastic improvement, Arnel Guballa, BIR deputy commissioner, said.

    The BIR released 264.61 million tax stamps worth P9.26 billion during the said month.
    However, this is still 8.6 percent lower than the 289.5 million tax stamps worth P13.03 billion released by the BIR in June last year.

    Carlos Dominguez, DOF secretary, previously reported that excise tax collections from tobacco and alcohol products fell by 39 percent in the first five months of the year, amounting to P63.1 billion as against the P102.71 billion in January to May 2019.

    In May alone, collection of sin taxes dropped 43 percent to P11.91 billion, compared with P20.87 billion in 2019.