Tax collections recover in June

Published July 2, 2020, 10:00 PM

by Chino S. Leyco

BIR, Customs log P270.77 billion

Revenue collections of the government’s two main tax agencies recovered in June following three consecutive months of declines amid the coronavirus-induced economic crisis, the Department of Finance (DOF) said yesterday.

 “Collections began to pick up in June,” the DOF announced yesterday, citing the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and Bureau of Customs’ tax haul reached P270.77 billion, an increase of 28 percent compared with P211.5 billion in the same month last year.

The national government’s tax collection gain in June halted the three consecutive months of performance declines since March, which was the month when President Duterte placed almost the entire nation under strict community quarantine.

The BIR, the government’s top revenue generating agency, reported a 42 percent increase in collection in June to P228.23 billion from P160.2 billion in the previous year, but short against its target for the month of P284.8 billion by P20 percent.

In terms of income taxes, the Large Taxpayers Service of the BIR collected P83.73 billion, an improvement of 82.58 percent compared with P45.86 billion in the same month last year. 

Improvements were also seen in the collection of the value-added tax from large taxpayers, with the BIR collecting P24.25 billion, an excess of 12 percent against the target of P21.71 billion for the month, and 6.94 percent better than the P22.68 billion collected last year.

“Even with the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, the country’s large taxpayers delivered P145.81 billion in taxes to the BIR in June, which is P37.85 billion or 35.05 percent higher than the P107.97 billion they paid during the same month last year,” DOF said.

The Customs, on the other hand, exceeded its P40.74 billion target in June by 4.4 percent to P42.54 billion. But year-on-year, bureau’s collections were lower by 20 percent from P51.3 billion.

“The BOC’s positive revenue collection performance is the result of intensified collective effort of all ports and the gradually improving volume of importation,” Customs said.

“It can also be attributed to the governments effort in ensuring unhampered movement of goods domestically and internationally considering the pandemic situation,” the agency added.

While the national government’s tax collections showed some improvements in June, its first semester revenue haul, however, remained in red.

The BIR and Customs total collections hit only P1.155 trillion in the first six-months of 2020, down by 16 percent year-on-year from P1.375 trillion.

DOF said the contraction was due to “unprecedented coronavirus pandemic [that] continued to pummel the economy and restrict business activity in most parts of the country.”

Last month, the inter-agency Development Budget Coordination Committee slashed the 2020 collection targets of the BIR and Customs to P1.744 trillion and P520.4 billion, respectively.

The downward revision was due government’s expectations of an economic contraction by 2.0 percent to 3.4 percent and lower imports, as well as a drop in tax base.