BIR, Customs’ takes exceed Sept. target

Published October 6, 2020, 5:00 AM

by Chino S. Leyco

The national government’s two main tax agencies exceeded their revised collection target in the first eight-months of the year, but remained lower than last year’s performance, the Department of Finance (DOF) said.

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and Bureau of Customs collected P1.820 trillion in January to September 2020, higher by 8.2 percent against the downscaled goal of P1.682 trillion.

However, the BIR and Customs end-September tax haul was below by 12.2 percent compared with P2.073 trillion in the same period last year.

The BIR contributed bulk of government revenues, equivalent to 78.18 percent of the total.

The government’s main tax agency raised P1.423 trillion in January to September, above the P1.31 trillion goal for the period by 8.6 percent, but lower by 11 percent year-on-year from P1.603 trillion.

The Customs, meanwhile, surpassed by 6.8 percent its revised P372 billion target to P397.5 billion. However, the amount is down by 15 percent compared with last year’s P470 billion collections.

In September alone, the BIR and Customs generated around P168.69 billion in tax revenues, lower by 19 percent from P209.27 billion in the same month in 2019.

The BIR collections contracted last month by 20.4 percent to P119.68 billion from P150.47 billion a year ago, while Customs revenues declined by 14.6 percent from P58.8 billion to P50.21 billion.

In a statement, Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said his agency sustained its consistent and positive monthly collection for the fourth month since June despite the effects of COVID-19 to the overall trading environment and a stringent community quarantine.

Based on Customs preliminary report, 14 of the 17 collection districts exceeded their target in September; Ports of San Fernando, MICP, NAIA, Batangas, Cebu, Tacloban, Surigao, Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga, Davao, Subic, Clark, Aparri and Limay.

“The improved collection performance is attributed to the intensified collective effort of all ports, gradual improvement of importation volume and the government’s effort in ensuring unhampered movement of goods domestically and internationally considering the pandemic situation,” Customs said.

In 2020, the BIR and Customs are tasked to collect P2.192 trillion, lower than their actual revenue haul last year of P2.8 trillion.

The BIR’s goal was reduced by 3 percent to P1.686 trillion from an earlier P1.744 trillion, while Customs’ target is now at P506.15 billion, lower by 6 percent compared with the previous estimate of P542 billion.