BIR tax collection drops in 2020 amid COVID-19 pandemic

Published February 22, 2021, 5:34 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

The Bureau of Internal Revenue’s tax collection has dropped by more than 10 percent in 2020 amid the country’s battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)

BIR Deputy Commissioner Arnel Guballa said this during the House Ways and Means Committee’s online hearing on Monday, saying that the bureau collected P1.956-trillion in taxes which is lower than the P2.186-trillion collected in 2019.

The BIR, in its report to the committee, attributed the low collection rate to the closure of businesses following the lockdown imposed by the government to contain the spread of the COVID-19.

Guballa said the BIR was able to collect P1.045-trillion income taxes in 2020 but this is almost 10 percent lower than the P1.155-trillion collected in 2019.

Taxes collected from major tax types that dropped significantly included value added tax (VAT), which dropped by 13.46 percent or P54.64-billion; excise tax, which dropped by 6.68 percent or P21.19-billion; percentage tax, which dropped by 12.47 percent or P16.69-billion; and other taxes, which account for 16.09 percent or P27.94-billion.

“If we compare the tax types, collected tax types from the year 2019, on a year-on-year collection, there is a negative of 10.53 percent or a total of P230-billion,” Guballa said.

“Kung ano yung economy nung 2020 na lockdown, it commensurate with the collection of the BIR of P1.9-trillion,” he said.

Nevertheless, he said, the bureau was able to surpass its goal despite the pandemic.

Guballa explained the BIR’s tax collection was only set at P1.685-trillion but they were able to collect P1.956-trillion.

The official said the BIR made adjustments to their goal due to the pandemic.