BIR meets with Customs officials on smuggling issues

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)-Revenue Region 4 Regional Director Jethro Sabariaga met with Bureau of Customs officials in Central Luzon to discuss possible ways of curbing smuggled goods that are cheating the country with supposed revenue from unpaid taxes.

The meeting came after the recent operations carried out by the BIR against cigarettes without necessary tax stamps in Nueva Ecija, as well as liquor confiscated from a warehouse in Angeles City.

Sabariaga said the initial exploratory talks would enable both agencies in the region to come up with ways of working together to stop illegal smuggling of certain commodities.

“The aim here is to come up with an understanding on how to go about things,” Sabariaga said.

He said their agency would intensify its own crackdown on the sale of smuggled goods, adding that smuggled items deprive government of taxes that should have been paid.

Earlier, the BIR said the apprehension of nearly 500 cases of cigarettes without tax stamps is an indication of a huge illegal cigarettes trade in Central Luzon. Revenue collectors and National Bureau of Investigation agents earlier jointly seized 480 cases of cigarettes without tax stamps.

Sabariaga said the government was owed P7.2 million in tax stamps for the items.

The cigarettes were discovered in a warehouse store of Collete’s PX Store in Cabanatuan City.

Under Section 172 of the Tax Code, the BIR may detain products when it has good reason to believe that the proper excise taxes were not paid.
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