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Revenue bureau misses tax collection target in October

/ 02:50 AM November 16, 2013

The Bureau of Internal Revenue’s tax collection grew by another double-digit pace in October, but it still fell short of the official target.

The Department of Finance, parent agency of the BIR, Friday reported that the bureau collected P95.59 billion in taxes during the month—up by 11 percent year-on-year.

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But the collection was 4.5 percent below the government target.

Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima shrugged off the shortfall, saying it was not a concern.

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He said the BIR’s monthly targets were set high to pressure the agency to do all it could in plugging revenue leaks resulting from tax evasion.

“The fact that the revenue collection of the BIR is growing much faster than the growth of the economy is a welcome development,” Purisima told reporters.

But the finance chief said that the BIR should continue implementing its antitax evasion drive if it hoped to further increase its collections.

With the BIR’s performance in October, total collection in the first 10 months of the year reached P993.54 billion, up year-on-year by 15.7 percent.

The 10-month collection was 3.6-percent short of the goal set for the period.

In its effort to curb tax evasion, the BIR religiously files cases against suspected tax evaders once every two weeks.

The BIR also has been coming out with weekly newspaper advertisements to highlight various tax statistics.

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BIR Commissioner Kim Henares earlier said the advertisements were meant to encourage the public to question the accuracy of tax payments by some sectors.

The BIR accounts for about 60 percent of the government’s total revenue collection.

According to Purisima, the BIR needs to significantly increase its tax take year after year to help the government meet its goal of substantially increasing infrastructure spending to levels comparable to those in neighboring countries.

Based on an estimate by the World Bank, the Philippine government loses about P450 billion in potential revenue a year due to tax evasion.  Michelle V. Remo

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TAGS: BIR, Business, Cesar Purisima, tax collection, Tax collection target
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