BIR Secures Arrest Warrants for Vape Sellers in Tax Evasion Case

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has achieved a significant victory in its crackdown against tax evasion within the vape industry.

Commissioner Romeo D. Lumagui Jr. announced that following a successful operation last November, when he was the Deputy Commissioner of the Operations Group, the courts have now ordered the arrest of individuals associated with Tap Fog for an estimated tax liability of over P1.2 billion.

The Department of Justice worked in concert with the BIR, leading to the filing of criminal information before the Court of Tax Appeals and the Metropolitan Trial Court.

Both courts have issued warrants of arrest against the Tap Fog group, sending a clear message of the BIR’s resolve to enforce tax laws.

“This is a testament to our promise that after the execution of raids, cases will be filed. In the case of Tap Fog, a big-fish vape seller, the courts have already ordered the issuance of warrants of arrests,” Lumagui said.

The BIR has been vigilant in monitoring the vape industry, urging compliance with registration and taxation requirements.

“The vape industry is already a regulated industry, the BIR has already established a system for the proper registration and payment for this purpose,” he added.

Tap Fog and its alleged conspirators face charges that include unlawful possession or removal of articles subject to excise tax without payment, selling heated tobacco and vapor products below the required combined excise and value-added taxes, and willful attempts to evade or defeat tax.

The BIR said its stern action underscores its commitment to legal and regulatory compliance, emphasizing the importance of fulfilling tax obligations. This case serves as a stark reminder to the vape industry and other sectors that tax evasion carries serious legal consequences.