SM Markets of the Sy family has withdrawn all products manufactured by Vermirich Food Corp. from its shelves amid the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s crackdown on the sweetened beverage manufacturer.
The BIR has conducted raids on the supermarkets, operated by Supervalue Inc. and Super Shopping Market Inc. within the SM City North Mall in Quezon City following the discovery of boxes of SM Bonus Apple Juice Drink and SM Bonus Orange Juice Drink in the warehouse of Vermirich.
Supervalue Inc. manages SM Supermarket, while Super Shopping Market Inc. oversees SM Hypermarket.
Vermirich was also responsible for manufacturing S&R’s Lemon Tea and Raspberry Tea, which were seized by the BIR during its raid on the membership shopping club’s branch in Taguig last week.
“Due to the ongoing BIR investigation, products supplied by Vermirich have been pulled from our shelves,” SM Markets said in a statement,
The SM Group maintained that it is fully compliant with the rules and regulations of the BIR.
“SM Markets remains fully compliant with policies and guidelines of the BIR,” the statement said
According to BIR records, Vermirich failed to file excise tax returns and pay the required excise taxes for the sweetened beverages it manufactured from 2018 onwards. The company also failed to obtain the necessary permit to operate as a manufacturer of sweetened beverage products subject to excise taxes.
The BIR estimates that Vermirich has incurred a deficiency in excise taxes totaling around P800 million, including interest, surcharges, fines, and the 12 percent value-added tax on sweetened beverages, for the specified period.
“Since both enterprises possessed the said goods, they failed to exercise due diligence in ascertaining whether the appropriate taxes had been paid by Vermirich on the sweetened beverages in question. Consequently, Supervalue and Super Shopping Market can both be held liable for violations of Section 4, Revenue Regulations No. 20-2018, and Sections 130, 150-B, and 263 of the NIRC, as possessors of untaxed articles that are subject to excise taxes,” the BIR said.
“The bureau will continue to look into other manufacturers of sweetened beverages, to determine whether they have secured the appropriate permits to produce such goods and paid the correct excise taxes thereon,” the agency added.
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