BIR, Customs collections up sharply in July
The collections of the two biggest tax agencies jumped double-digits in July but still fell short of targets, the latest Department of Finance data showed.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue’s tax take rose 14.1 percent to P134.2 billion last month from P117.6 billion a year ago, but was just 0.4-percent lower than the P134.7-billion target for the month.
Finance Assistant Secretary Mark Dennis Joven told reporters last week that the initial payment to the government of P3.44 billion made by Japan Tobacco International’s Philippine unit on behalf of homegrown cigarette manufacturer Mighty Corp. for the settlement of the latter’s tax deficiency was already included in the BIR collection figure for July.
JTI Philippines is acquiring Mighty’s assets and distribution network for P45 billion and part of the deal shepherded by the Department of Finance was the settlement of unpaid excise taxes and value-added tax worth a total of P30 billion.
President Duterte, in his State of the Nation Address last month, ordered the DOF and the BIR to accept Mighty’s settlement offer after it was slapped three tax evasion cases for the nonpayment of P37.9 billion in taxes as the company allegedly used fake tax stamps.
The Bureau of Customs, meanwhile, collected P34.8 billion in import duties and other taxes in July, up 12.4 percent from P30.9 billion last year, but 11.2-percent below the P39.2-billion goal.
From January to July, the BIR’s collections grew 9.3 percent year-on-year to P987.8 billion, but remained 4.9-percent off the target of P1.039 trillion.
As of end-July, the BOC’s take climbed 11.5 percent year-on-year to P246.9 billion, missing its goal of P257.1 billion by 3.9 percent.
Even as both agencies’ year-to-date tax collections were below-target, Joven said the DOF was optimistic that the BIR and the BOC could still catch up.
For 2017, the BIR is tasked to collect P1.78 trillion in taxes while the BOC’s tax take must reach P459.6 billion.
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