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Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner Romeo D. Lumagui Jr. reminded the public that internal revenue stamps will be mandatory for all imported and locally manufactured vape products in the market by June 1, 2024, as stated in Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 59-2024. The 4th generation internal revenue stamps for such products will be available for ordering by May 8, 2024. This requirement will be imposed by the BIR as a way of checking the proper payment of taxes by the vape industry. Lack of internal revenue stamps on vape products means non-payment of excise taxes. Non-payment of excise taxes will make the vape products subject to seizure by the BIR and will expose the business owner to criminal liability for tax evasion.

“We have warned the illicit vape industry to pay your proper taxes. Comply with the internal revenue stamps by June 1, you can order as early as May 8. The BIR will monitor the internal revenue stamps for the vape industry. If your products do not have any internal revenue stamps by June 1, we will raid your stores and seize the products. Those in possession of the illicit vape products shall be held liable. Aside from administrative penalties that can be multiplied ten times, you will also be criminally liable for tax evasion,” Commissioner Lumagui stated.

The BIR has sought to address the illicit vape industry as early as 2022.

Commissioner Lumagui led the raid and filing of criminal cases against illicit vape traders in Manila with P1.2B in tax liability last November and December 2022. A nationwide raid on excisable products was also executed by the BIR in July 2023. Warrants of arrest were issued against illicit vape traders in February 2024 as a result of the criminal cases filed by the BIR. The BIR also raided a Flava warehouse in Laguna in March 2024. Warehouses in Manila and Rizal containing illicit vape products were also raided by the BIR in April 2024.

“Hinihikayat ng BIR ang mga negosyante na magbayad ng excise taxes para sa kanilang vape products. Maglalabas na ang BIR ng internal revenue stamps na kailangan makita sa mga binebenta niyong vape. Kailangan na ito pagdating ng June 1, 2024. Makaka-order na kayo nito pagdating ng May 8, 2024. Sisiguraduhin ng BIR na lahat ng negosyo nagbabayad ng tamang buwis. Walang lugar sa Bagong Pilipinas ang mga nagbebenta ng vape na hindi naman nagbabayad ng tamang buwis,” Commissioner Lumagui stated.

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