DOF reports dive in tax, customs collections for this year amid COVID crisis

P706.85-B collected from Jan-April much lower compared to P900.33-B collected for same period last year

Department of Finance building in Pasay City, Philippines. Photo grabbed from Google streetview map. (Courtesy Google streetview map)

(Eagle News) — The Department of Finance reported a dive in tax and customs collections for this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) reported a huge drop in collections from January to April this year, as these reached only P706.85 billion. This is P28.17 billion short of the target of P735.03 billion for that period.

“The P706.85 billion collected is also P193.48 billion lower than the amount of P900.33 billion collected in the same period last year,” the DOF noted.

Total BIR collections from January 1 to April 30 this year dived further to P527.41 billion, according to the DOF.

This is P179.37 billion or 25.4 percent below what it collected for the same period last year.

In a release, the DOF said that the dip in collections was “a result of the community quarantine measures in Luzon and other parts of the country that have also prompted the agency to extend the deadlines for the filing and payment of income and other taxes to next month.”

-BIR, BOC shortfall detailed-

Preliminary data submitted by the BIR to the DOF showed that actual collections from Jan. 1 to April 30 is short of P1.02 billion or 0.19 percent of the target of P528.44 billion for the Jan. 1-April 30 period.

As for the BOC, preliminary data show actual collections dipping further to P179.44 billion for the period of Jan. 1 to April 30, which is P14.11 billion or 7.29 percent lower than the amount of P193.55 billion collected in the same period last year.

The Jan. 1-April 30 collection of the BOC is also P27.15 billion or 13.14 percent short of the target of P206.59 billion for this four-month period, the DOF said.

“Thus, the collection of both the BIR and BOC combined from Jan. 1 to April 30 reached only P706.85 billion, which is P28.17 billion short of the target of P735.03 billion for that period,” the DOF said.

In April alone, the BIR reported collections of only P71.78 billion. This is a huge drop compared to the April 2019 collections of P237.93 billion

The BIR accounts for 78 percent of the state’s tax collection capacity

BOC collections from April 1 to 30, on the other hand, also amounted to P33.97 billion, which is P17.71 billion or 34.27 percent below its collection of P51.67 billion in the same period last year. It is also P22.57 billion or 4o percent lower than the April 1-30 target of P56.54 billion.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III earlier said that even with the significant decline in both bureaus’ revenue collections, the country remains “financially able” to meet the unexpected challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said that this was because President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered economic managers since the beginning of his administration in 2016 to maintain fiscal discipline and exercise prudence in state spending.

(Eagle News Service)