Benitez on sugar industry stakeholders: ‘Go to court’-A A +A
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
REPRESENTATIVE Alfredo Benitez (3rd district, Negros Occidental) advised the stakeholders in the sugar industry to go to court on their opposition on a Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) regulation imposing the 12 percent Value Added Tax (VAT) on raw sugar.
The move is being criticized and opposed by the sugar stakeholders led by major sugar federations in the country.
"My contention is that, stakeholders should really come up with a unified legal suit to prevent the BIR from enforcing that regulation. It's useless to talk to her at this point. We are better off to go to court to raise our point," Benitez said.
He said that he was able to personally talk to BIR Commissioner Kim Henares during the budget hearing. Henares, he said, has a strong position of imposing VAT on raw sugar or brown sugar because it undergoes a complicated process.
"Her contention is brown sugar undergoes a complicated process, requires centrifugal force to extract molasses from brown sugar which is a complicated process and should be subjected to VAT," Benitez pointed out.
In addition, Benitez also bared plans of filing a resolution to restrain the BIR from issuing new interpretation of the law, new taxes that are not currently assessed until Congress could come up with a rationale direction on whether we should really institute new taxes that should have been unwittingly included in our taxation laws.
"This means ‘status quo’ first until we could come up with a rationale on what would be the additional taxes that the BIR should assess. I will file a resolution asking the BIR to refrain from new revenue orders that will give undue burden to the consumers until we can rationalize our tax laws," Benitez said.
Sugar industry stakeholders said that it is the BIR that will kill the industry that is already in a threat when tariffs on sugar will be lowered to five percent to zero tariff due to the imposition of the Asian Free Trade Agreement.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on October 01, 2013.