BIR, Customs exceed downscaled 2020 collection targets
The country’s two biggest revenue agencies collected about P2.44 trillion in taxes in 2020, above their downscaled targets but below the record tax-collection figures in 2019 due to the pandemic-induced recession.
Citing preliminary data, Commissioner Caesar Dulay of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) said on Monday the agency’s tax take amounted to P1.89 trillion last year or about 12.7-percent more than the reduced full-year target of P1.69 trillion.
Although Dulay said the final collection figure will be available on Jan. 10, it would likely remain lower than the record-high P2.18 trillion collected by the BIR in 2019, prepandemic.
Dulay said the BIR had been tasked by the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) to generate a bigger P2.08 trillion in taxes this year amid expectations of an economic rebound from last year’s slump.
In a statement also on Monday, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said that import duties and other taxes it collected at the country’s 17 ports totaled P539.7 billion in 2020, exceeding the lower P506.2-billion goal by 6.6 percent.
The BOC’s actual collections last year were also below the record P630.3 billion in 2019.
The latest government data showed that merchandise imports as of end-October last year fell 25.2 percent year-on-year to $70.04 billion.
Citing preliminary report of its financial service, the BOC said 10 collection districts exceeded their full-year 2020 targets, namely Aparri, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Clark, Davao, Limay, Subic, Surigao, Tacloban and Zamboanga.
In December alone, the BOC collected P47.3 billion, 9.1-percent higher than its P43.4-billion target for the month.
The BOC attributed its above-target revenue performance last year to “improved valuation and intensified collection efforts of all the ports, gradual improvement of importation volume and the government’s effort in ensuring unhampered movement of goods domestically and internationally considering the pandemic situation.” Including nontax collections, the government targeted to generate P2.52 trillion in 2020, although the DBCC on December projected total revenues reaching as much as P2.85 trillion last year.
For 2021, the government is targetting to collect a higher P2.88 trillion in tax and non-tax revenues, equivalent to 14.4 percent of gross domestic product. INQ
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