BIR to miss 2019 collection goal
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) on Tuesday conceded that it could not collect all of the P2.32 trillion in taxes programmed for this year due to below-target collections thus far from the excise taxes slapped on fuel and sugary drinks.
During a House committee on ways and means briefing, Assistant Commissioner Alfredo V. Misajon of the BIR said that while the end-October tax take of the country’s biggest revenue agency rose 10.1 percent year-on-year to P1.78 trillion, its actual tax take was 4.7-percent below the P1.87-trillion goal for the 10-month period.
Misajon noted that from 2016 to 2018, the BIR managed to collect 95-96 percent of its annual targets.
As for the 2019 target, Misajon said that while there was still a “fairly good chance” that this would be met, the BIR eventually “may be slightly short.”
Committee chair and Albay Rep. Joey Salceda computed a possible P100-billion shortfall for this year while Misajon said it could be “almost P150 billion” or even more.
Misajon said the BIR would likely collect 96-97 percent of its full-year 2019 target.
“But we will be exerting so much effort for the rest of the year to meet our goal. The target is to meet or exceed the [programmed] collection. Hopefully, with our programs we can have substantial take in the two remaining months,” Misajon said.
According to Misajon, one reason for the below-target BIR collections so far this year included oil players’ increasing gasoline imports.
“We were given a goal, but the business practices of our refineries—instead of refining locally, they shifted to importation so we collected less from them. The collections from excise taxes [on imports] went to the Bureau of Customs,” Misajon explained.
Collections from sugar-sweetened beverages were also lower than the goal to date, Misajon added.
“Some manufacturers shifted from using high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)—they used local sugar, which had a lower tax rate, in their manufacturing process,” Misajon said.
Under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act, the levy for HFCS was double at 12 a liter, while those from ordinary sugar is being slapped only P6 a liter.
For 2020, the BIR had been tasked to collect P2.576 trillion in taxes. INQ
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