Tax collections by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) missed the monthly target for May despite a year-on-year increase, while collections by the Bureau of Customs (BoC) exceeded the target set for the period, the two government agencies said in separate reports on Wednesday.
Data released by the BIR showed it collected P157.36 billion in tax revenues in May, up 3.4 percent or P5.22 billion from a year earlier. But the amount fell short of the P175.08-billion collection goal for the month by P17.72 billion or 10.1 percent.
The BIR did not explain why the collection did not meet the target. It focused on the year-on-year growth in revenue.
Philstocks.ph senior research analyst Justino Calaycay Jr. said the government has traditionally set a high collection goal for the BIR, so he was not surprised that the May target was missed.
“The Bureau under previous and past administrations has apparently consistently set high goals,” he said.
“At the end of the day, improved collections should augur well for our fiscal balance – this, even as the government does plan to increase the country’s debt levels (widening the deficit to roughly 3 percent of gross domestic product), etc,” he added.
BIR’s 3.5% improvement
The BIR generates revenues from its regular operations and from non-BIR operations.
Collections from BIR operations, or regular tax revenues, reached P171.31 billion in May, up by 3.5 percent or P5.25 billion from the amount collected in May 2016.
Non-BIR operations’ collections, such as taxes imposed on government securities sold by the Bureau of Treasury, stood at P3.17 billion, lower by 0.20 percent from the year-earlier period.
Collections by the BIR’s regional offices rose 11.2 percent to P48.89 billion, or P5.03 billion more than the collections made in May 2016.
The Large Taxpayers Service collected P104.29 billion, higher by P204.75 million or 0.20 percent than the collections made a year earlier.
Cumulative BIR collections from January to May 2017 reached P719.95 billion, falling below the year-to-date target of about P759.28 billion, but higher than the P659.96 billion collected a year ago.
For full-year 2017, the bureau is tasked to collect P1.82 trillion.
Customs exceeds goal by 3.4%
Meanwhile, the Customs bureau surpassed its target for May by 3.4 percent, collecting P39.6 billion in duties and taxes, against a goal of P38.28 billion.
The collections in May also expanded from the year-earlier level, rising 23.5 percent or P7.52 billion, according to the BoC’s Financial Service.
The year-to-date collections, however, fell short of the target, despite a big year-on-year improvement.
From January to May this year, the BoC collected P176 billion, up 13.6 percent from P155.26 billion reported in the corresponding period in 2016.
Compared with the year-to-date target of P179.08 billion, the amount was 1.5 percent short.
But the BoC said the improved collection performance was largely due to higher oil prices in 2017, along with increases in the volume and value of imports by 19.7 percent and 28.3 percent, respectively.
The BOC credited its 11 district ports for the higher collections, with Manila International Container Port, Port of Batangas, and Port of Manila having the three largest collections of P12.08 billion, P9.05 billion, and P6.13 billion, respectively.
Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon expressed confidence that growth in government revenue will continue through the end of the year.
For full-year 2017, the BoC has been assigned a P468-billion revenue target, which according to Faeldon, is achievable.
“With the strong implementation of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act and our intensified operations against smuggling, I am positive that we will be able to achieve, or even exceed our 2017 revenue goal.” Faeldon said.
with WILLIAM B. DEPASUPIL