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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, March 23, 2015
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House to probe sugar tax

Rep. Alfredo Abelardo Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3rd District) said yesterday that he is seeking a House inquiry into tax impositions on raw sugar by the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

Senate President Franklin Drilon also told the DAILY STAR he is seeking a review of the legal basis of the applicability of the 12 percent Value Added Tax on raw sugar.

Sugar industry stakeholders are questioning Revenue Regulation No. 4-2015 that imposes 12 percent advance VAT Tax on raw and refined sugar, and Revenue Regulation 11-2014 that imposes a one percent creditable withholding tax on raw sugar and molasses upon withdrawal from the mills.

Benitez said the BIR should hold public hearings before it issues revenue regulations imposing new taxes.

The inquiry will be held to ask the BIR to explain how it came up with its tax measures that have caused confusion in the sugar industry, he said.

He also wants to ask the BIR what its definition of raw sugar is, Benitez said.

Sugar Regulatory Administrator Ma. Regina Martin said Friday that a request to delay the imposition of its recently reimposed 12 percent advance VAT on raw sugar until next crop year, is being made at the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

She is relaying the request of the stakeholders, traders and producers to delay the imposition of Revenue Regulation No. 4-2015 to the BIR so clarifications can be made on its provisions, especially on its definition of raw sugar, Martin said.*CPG

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