BIR surpasses 6-month tax take goal
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has exceeded its first-half tax-collection goal with a P1.03-trillion take amid improving economic prospects and tighter tax-administration measures.
In a text message on Friday, Internal Revenue Commissioner Caesar Dulay said the BIR’s collections from January to June were 1.6 percent higher than the P1.02-trillion target for the first six months.
The first six-month tax take was also higher than the P956.4 billion collected in the same period last year, when the country was in the middle of the pandemic-induced recession caused by the strict COVID-19 lockdown.
With its above-target first-half performance, Dulay expressed confidence that the BIR’s full-year goal to collect P2.08 trillion in taxes would be attained.
2021 target achievable
“Based on my meetings with BIR regional heads and the large taxpayers’ service, it is achievable with a more sustained and focused collection effort,” Dulay said.
Also on Friday, the Philippines and neighboring Brunei Darussalam signed a double taxation agreement (DTA) to prevent tax evasion on incomes from cross-border transactions between the two Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries.
A DTA will allow residents of one country working in the other country to pay taxes only in their homeland.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III flew to Brunei’s capital Bandar Seri Begawan to sign the DTA on the behalf of the Philippines. Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr. Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah, Brunei’s Minister of Finance and Economy, represented the oil-rich nation.
The Philippines and Brunei’s DTA took two decades to complete—negotiations started in 2001, but it was only in 2017 when a draft agreement was approved by the two sides.
Double taxation deal signed
The Department of Finance concurred to sign a DTA in 2019, and then the Department of Foreign Affairs this year endorsed to the Office of the President the issuance to the DOF of full powers to seal the deal.
“This agreement will serve us well as we bounce back from the ravages of the global health crisis. It will further ease trade in goods and services between our two countries. Moreover, it will strengthen our economic cooperation and enhance investment flows and economic activity across our borders,” Dominguez told Brunei officials.
The country has existing DTAs with five other Asean member-countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. It is eyeing DTAs with Ireland, Laos and Myanmar.
To date, the Philippines has more than 40 tax treaties with other countries.
Meanwhile, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Friday said it had filed during the first half of 2021 a total of 79 cases against alleged smugglers as well as erring customs brokers under the Bureau’s Action Team Against Smugglers program.
From January to June, 167 individuals were charged with various violations of Republic Act No. 10863, or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act, involving the 47 criminal cases that the BOC filed against unscrupulous importers in the Department of Justice (DOJ). These are on top of the 32 administrative cases lodged against brokers before the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC).
These cases involved the unlawful importation of cigarettes valued at P622 million, followed by general merchandise, almost P369 million; agricultural products, P158.5 million; medicines, P47.2 million, and other commodities, P27 million.
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