BIR misses August collection targetBy Ronnel W. Domingo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Bureau of Internal Revenue collected P96.8 billion in August, again falling short of its monthly target for the second month in a row following a rare success last June.
According to BIR documents released on Friday, August collection was 6.6 percent or P6.9 billion lower than the P103.6-billion goal for the month. On the other hand, last month’s yield was 10 percent or P8.8 billion higher than the P87.9 billion collected in August 2011.
Tax inflow last month brought revenues for the eight months to August to P701.5 billion, missing the target of P726.4 billion by 3.4 percent or P24.9 billion. The eight-month collection was 13.2 percent or P81.8 billion higher than the P619.7 billion posted in the same period of 2011.
“Collections from regional offices continued a trend of double-digit growth being (observed) this year,” the BIR said in a statement.
In August alone, regional offices turned in P30.9 billion, which was P4.8 billion or 18.2 percent more than the collections made in the same month last year.
As for the Large Taxpayer Service, August collections reached P64 billion, which was P5.9 billion or 10.2 percent more than the year-ago level.
Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima had reiterated that the DOF was keen to see the passage of the proposed laws reforming excise taxes on tobacco and alcohol as well as the rationalization of fiscal incentives.
The BIR expects to collect P154.6 billion in additional excise tax revenues within four years if the current version of the proposed reform law on sin taxes is implemented.
DOF data showed that 86 percent of that amount or P133.2 billion would come from cigarettes alone.
Meantime, JT International (Philippines) Inc. (JTIP), makers of global brands Winston, Mild Seven, Camel and Salem, said that the cost of smoking was already much higher in the Philippines than in Malaysia, Japan, Singapore, Korea and Taiwan compared to weighted average income.
Manos Koukourakis, general manager of JTIP clarified that, measured against the purchasing power of Filipino consumers, Philippine cigarettes were not cheap and were not within easy reach of poverty-stricken Filipinos. “To smoke, Filipinos have to surrender 8.2 percent of their monthly income on cigarettes,” said Manos.
In Singapore, Korea, and Taiwan where street prices of cigarettes are much higher, smokers just spend 2.6 to 5.7 percent of incomes on cigarettes.
Manos pointed out that basing tax policy on mere international cigarette pricing trends could mislead legislators and policy makers because “they don’t tell the whole story.”
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