BIR exceeds tobacco excise tax collection target in February

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 28) — Excise tax collections from tobacco increased by more than twofold, exceeding the Bureau of Internal Revenue's February target.

The BIR citing preliminary data covering February 1 to February 18 said tax collections from tobacco surged by 110% to ₱17.57 billion from the ₱8.37 billion it collected a year earlier.

It already surpassed its collection target by 4.28% after Japan Tobacco International (JTI) Philippines Inc. paid taxes amounting ₱10.94 billion, 108% higher than the ₱5.25 billion it paid last month.

According to the BIR, JTI Philippines overtook Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Co. as the top tobacco excise taxpayer as the former's remittance accounted for 63% of the total collection in the period.

This as the company started boosting its operations after opening its plant in Lima, Batangas, BIR Deputy Commissioner Arnel Guballa said in the statement.

"So it’s in full operation, that’s why they increased their production. That’s also why we have quite a collection in tobacco for this month," Guballa was quoted as saying in his report to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III.

From January 1 to February 18, tobacco excise tax collection already hit ₱29.1 billion, the BIR official noted.

READ: Dominguez sees BIR exceeding 2021 tax collections target

The Finance chief earlier expressed optimism that the BIR could breach its target of ₱2.08 trillion collection for 2021, 6% higher than total 2020 collections of ₱1.95 trillion, which will help fuel the government's fund against the COVID-19.