Guv: Raw sugar should be tax free

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

NEGROS Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. said Monday that raw sugar should not be taxed as there is an existing law stating that agricultural products should be tax free.

What should be taxed is refined sugar, Marañon said.

The governor advised sugarcane planters and other industry stakeholders to bring to court any issue about tax on raw sugar as only the court can decide on it.


“If raw sugar is taxed, then rice and other agricultural products should be taxed also,” he added.

Marañon issued the statement in the wake of reports that some traders are complaining that they were sent notices to tax sugar by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) despite the temporary restraining order and writ of preliminary injunction issued by the court against it.

Francisco Varua of the Philippine Sugar Millers Association (PSMA) said in a phone interview yesterday that they will file a case for contempt of court against the BIR if they insist on taxing raw sugar.

"Definitely, we will file a case for contempt of court against the BIR because we were the ones who (sought) the TRO and writ of preliminary injunction from the Regional Trial Court. This was issued to us and upon the expiration of the TRO there was another motion with RTC Quezon City. The BIR, Department of Finance and the PSMA agreed to maintain the status quo," Varua said.

“They (BIR) are not supposed to collect taxes (from raw sugar). If they collect taxes and won't allow our sugar to be withdrawn as a result of their insistence to collect taxes, we will file a case for contempt against them,” he added.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on September 02, 2014.

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