A group of spirits and liquor manufacturers has asked the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) to stop the Department of Finance (DOF) and Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) from enforcing the rules and regulations of Republic Act 10351 or commonly known as the Sin Tax Law of 2012, which they claim to be unconstitutional that would result in the shutdown of many liquor manufacturing companies in the country.
In a 30-page petition for prohibition filed last Monday, the Distilled Spirits Association of the Philippines, Inc. (DSAP); Destileria Limtuaco & Company, Inc. (DLCI); Emperador Distillers, Inc. (EDI); and Tanduay Distillers, Inc. (TDI) urged the Manila RTC to strike down Revenue Regulation No. 17-2012 of the Department of Finance (DOF) and declare some of its provision as null and void for being unconstitutional and contrary to law since it constitute double taxation on distilled spirits.
Revenue Regulations No. 17-201 prescribes the implementing guidelines on the revised tax rates on Alcohol and Tobacco products pursuant to the provisions of Republic Act. 10351 or the Sin Tax law.
The petitioners likewise prayed for the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) which will enjoin the respondents, their agents, and all other persons from implementing, enforcing or acting pursuant to the Revenue Regulations No. 17-201.
Named respondents in the petition were Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and BIR Commissioner Kim Henares.
"The implementation of the assailed regulation constitutes a material and substantive invasion of the rights of the Petitioners. If not enjoined, the implementation to the Assailed Regulation will require petitioners to pay twice excise taxes on ethyl alcohol used as raw materials and which was subsequently compounded," the petitioners stressed.
"The petitioners are entitled the to a temporary restraining order (TRO) and a writ of preliminary injunction in order to restrain the respondents from implementing the assailed regulation, pending judgment declaring it invalid," they added.
Last December, the BIR issued the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) that would pave the way for the effectivity of Republic Act 10351 or An Act Restructuring the Excise Tax on Alcohol and Tobacco.
BIR Revenue Regulation 17-2012 dated Dec. 21, 2012, prescribes higher tax rates on tobacco and alcohol products.
For distilled spirits, the excise tax rate, based on the net retail price per proof, is 15 percent from Jan. 1, 2013 until Jan. 1, 2014. The rate will increase to 20 percent effective January 2015 onwards.
The excise tax on fermented liquor including beer is P15 per liter for products whose net retail price per liter of volume capacity is P50.60 or less effective Jan. 1, 2013.
This will go up to P17 per liter in 2014; P19 …