By Chino S. Leyco
The national government’s tax effort improved in the first three months of the year as the Duterte administration continues its programs aimed at raising its collection efficiency, the Department of Finance (DOF) said yesterday.
Based on the latest DOF economic bulletin released yesterday, the national government’s total tax collections as a percentage of the country’s economy, as measured by its gross domestic product (GDP), rose in January to March this year to 14.6 percent.
The end-March 2019 tax efforts is higher by 0.3 percentage point compared with 14.3 percent in the same period last year. According to the DOF, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), the government’s main tax agency, saw its tax effort improved by 0.3 percentage point in the first three months to 11.1 percent from 10.8 percent a year before.
The Bureau of Customs, likewise, registered an improvement in its tax effort during the quarter, which slightly risen by 0.1 percentage point from 3.3 percent last year to 3.4 percent.
Tax efforts of "other offices,” on the other hand, remained at 0.1 percent year-on-year.
The finance department also reported that the national government’s revenue effort, which includes non-taxes, jumped by 0.5 percent to 16.3 percent in the quarter ending March from 15.8 percent in the previous year.
Earlier, the DOF reported that the Duterte administration’s total revenues at end-March increased by 11 percent year-on-year to P687.7 billion from P619.8 billion in the same period last year.
Of that amount, tax revenues grew by 10 percent from P558.7 billion a year before to P615.8 billion, while non-taxes rose by 18 percent to P71.9 billion from P61.1 billion.
"Tax revenues grew... due to second phase of TRAIN and continued tax administration reforms,” Finance Undersecretary Gil S. Beltran said in his report to Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III.
"Non-tax revenues rose… due to higher collections of dividend remittances on national government shares of stocks, guarantee fees, and share in the profits of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. or Pagcor,” he added.
At end-March, the BIR has raid P468.2 billion in revenues, up by 11 percent to P423.1 billion, while the Customs generated P141.9 billion, also higher by 9.3 percent compared with P129.8 billion a year before.