BIR urged to go after vape firm for tax violations

February 14, 2024 Jester P. Manalastas 400 views

A veteran lawmaker is urging the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to file tax evasion cases against vape brand Flava for violating the country’s vaping regulation and tax laws.

Surigao del Norte Representative Robert Ace Barbers said the House Committee on Ways and Means found sufficient evidence that vape brand Flava violated the country’s vaping regulation and tax laws.

If the BIR files and wins a tax-evasion case against Flava Corporation’s estimated P728 million in unpaid excise taxes, the government stands to gain over P7.2 billion — an amount which Barbers noted can cover two years of the government’s campaign against illegal drugs.

“As one of the principal authors of the landmark law intended to protect our youth, especially minors, from potential abuse of vaping devices, I am adamant on ensuring that this is followed by all industry players,” said Barbers, referring to Republic Act (RA) No. 11900.

The Vaporized Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Products Regulation Act prohibits the sale and marketing of vapes to minors — a business practice which the House Ways and Means panel, wherein Barbers also belongs, found Flava to have aggressively done on social media.

When RA 11900 was enacted into law in 2022, Barbers expressed confidence that more stringent vaping regulations will also prevent illegal substance abuse. Barbers, who chairs the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs, had noted that some illegal substances like cannabis oil and liquid shabu were being used as additives to vaping juices; hence, the Vape Law required all contraptions to be closed to avoid adding illegal drugs.