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BIR collections breach P1 trillion, surpass target

BIR collections breach P1 trillion, surpass target

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) collected more than P1 trillion in taxes as of end-June, surpassing its target by over P16 billion, as the agency improves its performance to beef up the government’s resources for pandemic response.

BIR Commissioner Caesar Dulay said the agency managed to collect P1.03 trillion in taxes from January to June,  surpassing the mid-year goal of P1.01 trillion.

Dulay said the BIR would have to improve the collection of taxes in a time when the government needs more income to manage the pandemic.

“BIR collected for the first half of the year a total of P1.034 trillion as against the goal of P1.017 trillion, or 1.61 percent above its goal for that period. That translates to P16.35 billion excess and a 101.61 percent collection performance,” Dulay said.

Dulay told The STAR the BIR would speed up its audits and investigations in the second semester to assess where leakages are taking place. Further, the agency will widen its services online to facilitate the payment of taxes in digital platforms.

“We will sustain and focus collection efforts, intensify audit and investigations and give quality service to taxpayers through the use of digital technology,” the BIR chief said.

This year, the BIR received a total of 1.43 million annual income tax returns, of which more than 99 percent were filed through electronic channels.

Dulay said the shift to contactless transactions, which peaked during the pandemic, encouraged taxpayers to comply with their obligations without the hassle of going to a physical BIR branch.

For 2021, the BIR looks to increase its tax take by nearly 10 percent to P2.08 trillion from P1.95  trillion in 2020. The agency managed to exceed its revised goal last year of contributing P1.68 trillion to state coffers.

Broken down, over half of the BIR’s tax take in 2020 came from net income and profits at P1.04 trillion. Sales taxes and licenses comprised P463.71 billion of the total, followed by excise taxes at P296.08 billion and other domestic taxes at P145.7 billion.

The government aims to collect P2.54 trillion in revenues this year, the bulk of which will come from taxes on domestic goods and services, net income and profits, as well as international trade and transactions.

For next year, the government expects to increase revenue collection to P2.86 trillion in an effort to accelerate the economy’s recovery from the pandemic.