MANILA, Philippines—The Bureau of Internal Revenue is confident its tax collection this year will, for the first time, surpass the P1-trillion mark.
Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares told reporters Thursday that preliminary estimates had shown that the agency was on track to generating more than P1 trillion in taxes this year.
“We will exceed P1 trillion,” Henares said in a chance interview following the filing of tax-evasion cases against a construction company and two property owners with the Department of Justice. She did not say, however, if the BIR was expecting to hit its official tax-collection target this year.
The BIR, the biggest revenue earner among government agencies, was tasked to collect P1.066 trillion in taxes this year. The target represents a 15-percent increase from its actual collection of P924.1 billion last year.
For October alone, Henares said the BIR was expected to have registered a tax collection growth of at least 10 percent from P70.504 billion in the same month last year. This means taxes collected by the BIR during the month may hit at least P77.55 billion.
Henares said exceeding the P1-trillion mark in tax collection this year was possible given the several measures being undertaken by the BIR to plug leakages and to discourage firms and individuals from evading payment of proper taxes.
The BIR is keen on keeping its goal of filing at least two evasion cases every month under its Run After Tax Evaders (RATE) program.
The BIR on Thursday charged a construction company, 515 Builders Corp., of tax evasion. The BIR said the company did not pay more than P16 million in taxes.
“Records of investigation showed that Builders wilfully failed to file its annual income tax returns for taxable years 2009, 2010 and 2011, resulting in its wilful non-payment of the correct tax aggregating P16.44 million, inclusive of surcharges and interests,” the BIR said in a statement.
With the expected increase in tax collection by the BIR, the national government sees the proportion of its budget deficit and of its outstanding debt to the country’s gross domestic product to continually decline.
The government’s debt-to-GDP ratio currently stands at a little over 50 percent. Officials said the ratio, which is one of the closely monitored indicators of creditworthiness, is expected to fall below the 50-percent mark next year.
Officials expect the Philippines to finally get an investment grade next year. Currently, the Philippines’ credit ratings assigned by the three major international credit watchdogs—Moody’s Investors Service, Standard & Poor’s, and Fitch Ratings—are all at one notch below investment grade.