Illicit cigarettes

Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner Romeo D. Lumagui Jr. reported the success of a large-scale BIR raid in 3 warehouses/factories in Indang and Dasmariñas, Cavite last March 21, 2024. The total tax liability computed after the raid reached an estimate of P 5.4 Billion, making the operation one of the largest BIR raids against illicit cigarettes.

“This is one of the largest raids against illicit cigarettes in the history of the BIR, having an estimate of P 5.4 Billion in total tax liability. The BIR will continue targeting these large-scale illicit cigarette traders. We advise everyone to register their cigarette operations with the BIR and to pay proper excise taxes on those products. The BIR aims to protect legitimate businesses so if you register and pay your proper taxes, your businesses will be compliant. We want a level playing field so we protect registered businesses and raid illicit trade,” Commissioner Lumagui stated.

Illicit cigarettes

During the raid, the BIR recovered master cases of cigarettes, machines, sacks of raw tobacco, and fake internal revenue stamps.

The perpetrators behind the 3 warehouses/factories in Cavite will be facing criminal and civil cases for their violations under the National Internal Revenue Code. Possible violations include Section 130 – Filing of Return and Payment of Excise Tax on Domestic Products, Section 131 – Payment of Excise Taxes on Imported Articles, Section 144 – Tobacco Products, Heated Tobacco Products, and Vapor Products, Section 145 – Cigars and Cigarettes, Section 171 – Authority of Internal Revenue Officer in Searching for and Testing Taxable Articles, Section 172 – Detention of Package Containing Taxable Articles, Section 260 – Unlawful Possession of Cigarette Paper in Bobbins or Rolls, Etc., Section 263 – Unlawful Possession or Removal of Articles Subject to Excise Tax Without Payment of the Tax, Section 263-A – Selling of Heated Tobacco Products and Vapor Products at a Lower Price than the Combined Excise and Value-added Taxes, Section 265 – Offenses Relating to Stamps, Section 265-B – Violations Committed by Manufacturers, Importers, Indentors, and Wholesalers of Any Apparatus or Mechanical Contrivance Specially for the Manufacture of Articles Subject to Excise Tax and Importers, Indentors, Manufacturers or Sellers of Cigarette Paper in Bobbins, Cigarette Tipping Paper or Cigarette Filter Tips, and Section 279 – Confiscation and Forfeiture of the Proceeds or Instruments of Crime.

Illicit cigarettes

“Hindi aatras ang BIR kahit malalaking warehouse o pabrika ng ilegal na sigarilyo pa ang kailangan namin pasukin. Itong na raid namin sa Cavite ay isa sa pinakamalaking raid ng ilegal na sigarilyo sa kasaysayan ng BIR, P5.4 Billion na buwis ang kailangan nilang bayaran. Patunay ito na kahit malaki o maliit ka na negosyo, kailangan mag-register sa BIR at magbayad ng tamang buwis,” Commissioner Lumagui stated.

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