MANILA, Philippines — No thanks to a COVID-19-induced recession, tax collections dropped by almost a fourth year-on-year to P874.9 billion as of end-May, the Department of Finance (DOF) said Friday.

In a statement, the DOF said the taxes collected by the bureaus of Customs (BOC) and of Internal Revenue (BIR) from January to May fell 24.8 percent from P1.16 trillion a year ago.

The combined BOC and BIR take also fell below the adjusted P1.06-trillion target for the five-month period by 17.7 percent.

Last month, the Cabinet-level Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) cut this year’s total tax and non-tax revenue-collection goal to P2.61 trillion, down 16.7 percent from actual revenues of P3.14 trillion last year.

The BIR’s end-May take amounted P664.7 billion, down 27.1 percent year-on-year and 21.7-percent short of target.

The BOC’s collections of import duties and other taxes during the first five months dropped 16.5 percent year-on-year to P210.2 billion, also 1.6-percent below-goal.

During the month of May alone, joint BOC and BIR collections reached P135.5 billion, beneath the actual collections of P263.6 billion a year ago and the P353.8-billion program.

The BIR’s collections of P105.4 billion in May were 48.7-percent lower year-on-year and 67.1-percent below-target.

The BOC collected P30.01 billion last May, down 48.4 percent year-on-year, and 9.9-percent short of the goal.

The BIR’s large taxpayers service (LTS) received P189.5 billion in income taxes from big corporations during the January to May period, lower by 31.7 percent year-on-year and below-target by 26.4 percent.

Under BIR rules, large taxpayers included corporations with an authorized capitalization of at least P300 million registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC); multinational enterprises with authorized capitalization or assigned capital of at least P300 million; publicly-listed corporations; universal, commercial and foreign banks; taxpayers with an authorized capitalization of at least P100 million belonging to the banking, insurance, petroleum, telecommunications, utilities, alcohol and tobacco industries; and corporate taxpayers engaged in the production of metallic minerals.

Total income taxes collected during the five-month period declined 30 percent year-on-year to P341.6 billion, also 22.3-percent lower than the end-May program.

In May alone, LTS income-tax collections amounted to P41.1 billion, below the P81.3 billion in actual take last year and P98.5-billion target.

Total income tax collections last May reached P60.4 billion, lower than the P123.9 billion collected last year, and the P232.7-billion goal.

As for value-added tax (VAT), end-May LTS collections of P88.1 billion dropped 15.2 percent year-on-year, although 4.4 percent higher than the downscaled target.

During the month of May, VAT from large taxpayers amounted P12.5 billion, down 41 percent, and 35-percent below-target.

Including VAT collections from smaller taxpayers, the end-May take reached P125.5 billion, 21.2-percent lower year-on-year.

Last May, the total VAT collections of P15.4 billion fell short of the P32.4 billion collected during the same month last year.

Separately, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III on Friday said that in line with the plan to raise collections from digital transactions, “we are currently working on a system to collect VAT from giant tech firms” such as Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Netflix, among others.

“We are planning to roll this out as soon as possible,” Dominguez said.

/MUF


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