FOREGONE REVENUE due to the illicit tobacco trade are expected to exceed P30 billion this year, the National Tobacco Administration (NTA) said.
“To estimate, I think (the losses) would be a little higher (than) P30 billion. That is the projection for this year,” NTA Regulatory Department Manager Rohbert A. Ambros told reporters on Wednesday.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has reported a shortfall in excise tax collection, mainly due to the illicit tobacco trade.
In May, the agency filed 69 complaints against tobacco traders for tax evasion, estimating the evaded taxes at P1.8 billion.
The BIR also filed in December a P1.2-billion tax evasion case against five vape traders.
NTA Public Relations Officer Freddie G. Lazaro said foregone revenue from the illicit tobacco trade is estimated at P16 billion so far this year.
“The illicit tobacco trade is very alarming. We are losing billions of pesos, more or less P16 billion for this year,” he said.
Mr. Lazaro said that untaxed tobacco is mainly circulating in southern Mindanao and the Visayas. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson